A friend recently emailed me the link to the latest of the nootropics to be sold online, “As taken by Stephen Hawking” went the blurb. Really?? The quest for better thinking, high performance, or maximising intelligence drives us to seek solutions preferably one that requires little or no effort, doesn’t cost the earth and comes with a discount for buying in bulk.
While popping a pill of dubious benefit may seem appealing and quick, we’re overlooking the obvious; that giving our brains a little more care and attention can provide the cognitive boost we seek.
When it comes to elevating mental performance, cognitive health is the new black.
While staying physically healthy and looking after our mental wellbeing is important, knowing how to flourish in our crazy busy world, is about how well we think, how effectively we learn and how well we can recall the right information at the appropriate time. That’s why to get the best out of ourselves (and others) is all about getting the mental hardware right first, to ensure the software runs more smoothly.
The Towers Watson Staying@Work Global survey of 2016 identified 5 elements in the workplace that contribute to poor performance, reported and ranked as follows:
- Stress 64%
- Lack of Physical Activity 53%
- Overweight/Obesity 45%
- Poor Nutrition 31%
- Lack of sleep 30%
No surprises there.
What is surprising given these risk factors are well recognised and have been for a number of years, is why so many employers have chosen not to prioritise them as requiring urgent attention because the bottom line is that happier, healthier workplaces perform better and contribute to the bottom line with an ROI of 3:1
Still not convinced?
The iOpener Institute based in Oxford has surveyed over 50,000 people and discovered three remarkable things. Comparing the happiest to the unhappiest employees they found that the happiest employees;
- Are twice as productive,
- Have x6 more energy
- Intend to stay in their current role twice as long as their unhappy counterpart.
It comes down to what you value. If you value being able to think well, feel energised and inspired by your work, and to live life to its fullest, then putting in place a framework to enable you to achieve these, becomes a want, not a burden.
That’s why high-performance workplaces that are people-focused and place a high value on everyone getting enough sleep, exercising sufficiently, eating healthily and managing stress effectively, enjoy greater productivity and performance.
Bringing out your best is all about better cognitive health, which you can start to put into place right now.