The Health and Performance Connection
Many of us scrabbling daily on the career ladder get tired. Searching for contacts, opportunities, pursuing new educational experiences in hopes they will lead to career advancement, all of these things take energy and focus. But what you may not have internalized yet is that the energy and focus you consistently need to boost career development will only come when you focus more attention on your health.
If you’re working 50 to 60 or even more hours per week, eating bad food and drink, and not getting enough sleep, your work performance will suffer. If you’re too busy to go to the gym or for a walk or to keep up your yearly dentist and doctor visits, you’re asking for trouble. Remember, prevention is better than a cure.
I interviewed a doctor recently for an article on the importance of good health practices as it relates to increased cognitive performance and leadership ability. It was all common-sense stuff, but the report’s simple message was chocked full of simple but rarely followed advice. For example, 30 minutes of exercise each day is optimal, and you should really be conscious about the food you eat. Take fish: Fish oil is good for you, but the increasingly high levels of mercury found in some common fish like tuna and grouper can actually harm you.
Time is a valuable commodity. Once spent, it can never be returned. Your health is the same. If you’ve decided that fulfilling your IT career goals deserves a significant chunk of your time, it’s best to not waste a moment being sick because you were too busy to take care of yourself.