The secret behind a great day's work

Alison Smith
posted by Alison Smith
6 February 2014

6 February 2014 | Alison Smith

Alison SmithIt’s with some trepidation that I write this blog. The reason is you've heard it all before, and I can't be totally sure it’s not just me getting on my hobby horse - or, as I was accused of yesterday - being boring!

The reason I'm persevering is three-fold:

• Coaching clients’ performance is still - despite them hearing it many times before - negatively affected by not doing what works for them in this area.

• I hear others declaring an inability to think clearly, get things done, concentrate and so on, and suspect following this advice might make all the difference

• I'm still surprised at the negative impact that forgetting this simple tip has on what I can achieve in a day

In short the sub-optimal performance I spoke about in an earlier blog is contributed to by the fuel we provide our minds and bodies as we start the day. Yes – I’m talking about eating breakfast!

As with any advice, if you're getting the outcome you desire, end the day with energy, and are achieving success then you have already established what works for you. But I don't hear too many people declaring they have boundless energy, clear thinking, efficiency and effectiveness throughout the day.

There's a plethora of guidance about what we should eat for breakfast and I won’t tell you what that is for you personally. If you don't currently eat anything in the morning I'd suggest experimenting with carbs for energy and/or protein to provide the amino acids the brain needs to function, and 'good' fats to provide energy, make tissue and manufacture biochemicals such as hormones. More protein made the difference for me.

I used to skip breakfast because I didn't fancy eating when I got up, would then wait until I got in the office and fall back on what was available from the canteen, catering van or vending machine. Over time I've realised making a smoothie provides me with something I can easily digest, to give my body the fuel it needs, without having to force something down. I just can't recommend enough to those who skip breakfast trying to find out what works for you and notice the positive impact it has on your day.

The simple truth is our body needs fuel and if we don't provide it, it starts to use other systems to support its continued functioning. It’s a bit like asking a category manager to do the MI manager’s job as well. That’s fine for a short time, but not a sustainable long-term solution. Frustration, tiredness, sub-optimal performance and stress are likely to arise as the category manager is unable to do what they need to do and are good at. Eating the right foods at the right times allows our bodies’ systems to do what they excel at, and not get distracted and use their limited energy looking after other systems.

Other factors on the way in which you start your day as discussed in my last blog may also have an impact on whether it’s a successful day or not.

I'm now off for my morning smoothie (coconut milk, whey powder, banana, berries, avocado, flax seed, dates and oats), What about you?

☛ Alison Smith is a consultant, facilitator and coach

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