Elite AgentProductivity & Best Practice

Create a healthy body and mind

As we continue to navigate unprecedented social and economic waters, it's never been more important to look after yourself. Nigel O'Neil explains how to cultivate habits to help you grow – body, mind and soul.

With the rise of social media and the plethora of platforms used to communicate online, many people are continuously connected to a barrage of information.

It’s easy to be distracted by the raft of material, with many hours eaten away by one-on-one time with your phone or tablet.

This shift in how people use their time means that many are not investing the effort to develop or retain the habits they need to maintain a healthy body and mind.

This neglect can create a vicious spiral of mental overload, which can lead to physical deterioration, increased stress about accompanying health-related issues and a reduction in productivity and life happiness.

It’s never been more important to get back to basics and cultivate the habits that will deliver an energised body and mind that will enable you to grow.

The secret is to develop routines around sleep, exercise, nutrition and planning.

There’s an increasing cult, driven by the examples of successful tech-industry leaders and billionaires, of people starting their day at 4am.

Yes, there are fewer distractions, but if you’re an agent, then your best work is often done of an evening, so 4am starts aren’t sustainable.

Maybe you can start a day or two a week at this time if you don’t have evening appointments and want to race through your admin when no one is around.

Aim for at least seven hours of sleep a night.

That’s the minimum recommended to support healthy brain function and a healthy body.

If you are reading to relax before sleep on your phone or tablet, turn down the brightness a little so that your brain isn’t taking on additional stimulation from the screen.

I believe it’s better to do a small amount of exercise every day, as opposed to two or three big sessions a week.

Then, if you miss a day, it has less impact.

Have a rule of never missing two days in a row.

I walk for 30 minutes every day after lunch, do push-ups when I change into casual clothes at the end of the day and fit in two 30-minute runs each week.

Have a plan for healthy eating and aim to stick to it at least 80 per cent of the time.

My rules include avoiding hot lunches and sugar in any form during the day, limiting my caffeine intake to the morning and not eating chocolate until after 6pm.

The most important meeting is the one with yourself to plan the week.

Don’t limit yourself to just the following week; look three months, and even six months, ahead to ensure your immediate plans are on track to get you to your long-term goals.

Plan for your work week, allocate times to maintain key relationships with work colleagues, family and friends, and lock in time for relaxation.

I do this on a Sunday around 4pm.

It takes 30 minutes.

Finally, if any of your sleep/ exercise/nutrition or planning routines are being interrupted by newly formed habits like social media scouring – you are off-track and need to reset now.

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