I’ll jump straight into this and say that I don’t think success in the workplace and staying fit should be considered separate entities. Instead, they should be synergistic and drive the success of each other.
I’d even be tempted to go one step further and say that my fitness goals and pursuits have aided my business success more than anything else. And as a result, I plan my work life around my fitness regimen, not the other way around. Let me explain how and why…
Firstly, I am no marathon runner. The thought of a 5km park fun run makes my knees sore. My “fitness” pursuit is weightlifting and bodybuilding. But the fundamental training principles and their benefits to your work life are the same.
There are lessons in life that the pursuit of physical goals will teach you better than anything. Suppose you incorporate them into your everyday life; they will also be a constant reminder of your consistency, discipline, structure, dedication, ability to operate outside of your comfort zone and mental toughness. The list of transferrable skills is vast.
Additionally, by ensuring you stay fit, the positive effects compound too. For example, staying fit and healthy will mean you’ll have fewer sick days, increased longevity, sharper mental clarity and focus, more drive and stamina and you’ll sustain or develop a competitive nature. These are massive contributing factors that will ensure long-term success at work.
In terms of a practical way of structuring your day to incorporate staying fit and healthy, I plan my day around meals.
We all understand the need for a structured nutrition plan to optimise fitness success. So, use this same structure to optimise your work success.
Dividing your time into units (think About a Boy) that are structured around meals will ensure you stay on track with your diet and have set goals and timeframes for everything you do throughout your day. You’ll be shocked at how much more productive this will make you at work and in the gym.
To hammer this structure home, you should also remove the element of choice in your mind. Fitting your work around your fitness should become non-negotiable.
Nowadays, most people are based at home or go into the office a couple of times per week (at most). Time is so abundant now that most people no longer have a legitimate excuse for ignoring their fitness.
But your comfort-seeking brain is sneaky and will always try and find excuses. We’re all guilty of fooling ourselves that we don’t have enough time when all we have to do is set our alarm clock an hour earlier or simply organise our time better. So, making a conscious effort to view your fitness regimen as a non-negotiable has to be done.
Once this thought becomes ingrained in your mind, you’ll quickly realise that if you don’t organise your time, it’ll seriously suck when you get to the end of an exhausting day, only to realise you HAVE to go for a run or hit some deadlifts…
Viewing your work life and fitness life as separate entities makes it easy to excuse one in favour of the other. So, your aim should be to intertwine them to such a point that they are no longer recognisable from one another.
For example, I plan important client meetings after massive workouts so that I go into them mentally and physically pumped.
I’ve essentially convinced myself that one will not operate effectively without the other. Sure, there are times when this isn’t always possible. But are those meetings ever as good? Of course not – how could they be?
My workouts remind me how far I’ve come and how far I continue to push myself. Triggering that mental state is an invaluable tool for my own business success. So, my workouts have become part of my business strategy, not something to bolt onto the start or end of the day.
So, in summary, if you want to stay fit and successful at work – stop viewing work and fitness as two separate things. The underlying factors for success in both are the same, so harmonize them for optimum results.
Elliot Wise is a self-made serial entrepreneur, business growth expert and mentor. He is the founder of Limitless Mentoring – an entrepreneurial skills programme for aspiring business leaders.