Did you know that US businesses lose, on average, upwards of $100 billion dollars on lost productivity per year?  Staggering number, right?  While there are many factors that attribute to this number, research has shown that the number one cause of lost productivity is due to stressed employees, with the numbers being even higher in the healthcare industry.

This stress manifests itself in many ways – think about your typical day for a moment.  You wake up tired, from only 4 or 5 hours of sleep.  Before even sitting up in bed, you already have your electronic device and are checking emails.  You see an email that you MUST take care of immediately.  You rush through a shower, skip breakfast, to just grab a cup of coffee.  You rush to the facility, and from there it is one meeting after another, one patient after another – one fire after another.  You eat what you call lunch at your desk.  The afternoon goes similar to your morning.  Before long, it is 6 pm and time to go home and make dinner, take care of the kids, clean the house, and more.  All the while, you continue to check your emails and answer them.

Unfortunately, this is becoming the norm for many today.  Trying to juggle everything, while never taking time for you – just to relax.  This behavior leads to lost productivity.  As humans, we were designed to exert energy and then replace that energy.  When you do not take time to relax and recharge, you cannot replenish the energy expended.  In fact, those who push the hardest, are usually the least productive over time.

Studies have shown that those who take breaks and time for themselves, have increased productivity and job performance.  Simple things such as working out, a short afternoon nap, getting out of the facility at lunch, and sleeping longer hours can give you the recharge your body needs.

We cannot increase the number of hours per day, therefore, the key to productivity is learning how to utilize those hours smart, while still maintaining your energy.  During these studies, researchers found that those who worked in 90 minute intervals were more productive.  They were more focused, had more energy, and were able to complete tasks faster and more accurately.

Many businesses have adopted the 90 minute work interval for maximum productivity.  Not only have their businesses skyrocketed, but their employees are happier and healthier.  Employees work, uninterrupted for 90 minutes straight.  They then have a break to relax.  They can exercise, sit in a relaxation room, or spend time with others in a common lounge.  Lunch is not allowed at the desk, and no one answers emails after hours.  Three or four 90 minute intervals is more productive than 10-12 hours straight.  And everyone is happier!

The bottom line is that to be more productive, you must manage your energy more skillfully.  It is possible to get more done in less time, and still get adequate sleep, and enjoy life.

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