Back pain, lack of concentration, lack of productivity… What good is it to make a living if it is to destroy yourself at work… The problems that entrepreneurs (and more specifically those working in front of their screens) face in their there are many everyday. This is the reason why in the following lines you will discover 5 habits that will (really) change your life. And we start right away with …
Reduce problems caused by sitting
It only takes a few minutes of online research to find several studies proving the (too many) harms of prolonged sitting.
For example, the one run by the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough in collaboration with the British National Institute for Medical Research (NIHR) (source).
We now know that sitting too long induces in particular:
- Atrophy of the leg muscles and gluteal muscle (gluteus) which has consequences on posture;
- A decrease in flexibility of the hips and back, also leading to compression and premature degeneration of the vertebral discs;
- Increased anxiety and depression caused by physical inactivity and lack of physical activity;
- An increased risk of cancer, including that of the lungs, uterus and colon;
- An increased risk of cardiovascular disease: a study has shown that a person watching TV 23 hours a week is 64 times more likely to develop complications than a person spending 11 hours in front of his screen …
Not to mention the problems of stiff neck and back …
If you are a web entrepreneur like me, you should probably be spending most of your day sitting at your screen. If not all day, several days in a row during a big rush …
The problem is, you can’t stop your activity overnight.
Work in a standing position
Working in front of a screen does not necessarily mean having to work while seated. In fact, many companies offer the purchase of sit-stand desks that you can adjust to your size and the position that suits you.
For my part, I have adapted my workspace in my apartment so that it arrives right at the right height. This height allows me to rest my forearms on the ledge while having my shoulders relaxed and back.
There is also the possibility of raising the screen to eye level so as not to have to bow your head and generate tension in the neck.
Integrate periods of movement practice
Let’s face it, it is impossible to stay productive for hours on end without taking breaks. There are several productivity methods that integrate working time (with a large concentration) and pause time (to clear the brain) like the Pomodoro method or even the Deep Work.
The last method is interesting because it splits as follows:
- 45 minutes of intensive work;
- 10 to 15 minute break.
The goal is to take advantage of the quarter break to get your body moving. Stretching, Yoga movement… there are many ways to move.
You can also download a 10-minute guided session that will make you work the whole body smoothly: click here to access it.
Practice these 2 (simple) exercises every day
The goal is clearly to compensate for the hours of sitting (but also standing) by decompressing the entire body.
For this, it will be enough to practice between 5 to 10 minutes each of these 2 exercises every day:
- The complete squat (deep or Asian). It aims to decompress the entire lower back and mobilize the hips and ankles. This is a complete exercise that you can do with the help of a weight to counterbalance the imbalance backwards;
- Suspension : hanging on a bar (traction), a tree branch, a football goal or whatever, will allow you to decompress the spine, improve the grip, stretch the upper body and reduce shoulder pain.
If this is the first time you are practicing them, you probably will not be able to last longer than 30 seconds to 1 minute … this is normal. In the guided session, you will learn the variations that will allow you to progress more easily and improve your posture, strengthen your body and reduce your pain.
By implementing these 3 habits in your daily life, it will not take you more than a week to feel the first positive effects. Of course, it goes without saying that this practice requires regularity to be effective in the long term.
Who has never experienced this moment? This moment when all the tasks are linked in a fluid and clear way? That moment when productivity was at its peak? We have all experienced this state at one time or another. The thing is, it manifests itself in a completely random and uncontrollable way …
But that was before…
Because yes, there are techniques to generate this report on demand.
One of them is the Wim Hof method (official website of the method).
This method combines 3 factors:
- Exposure to cold;
- The mindset.
And these are the first 2 that will interest us in this article.
Wim Hof breathing
Breathing is done in the following way:
- Alternating full lung inspiration and light exhalation (30 cycles);
- A period of apnea with empty lungs (1 to 4 minutes);
- A period of full lung apnea (10 to 15 seconds).
This complete cycle must be reproduced at least 3 times in all.
And because a video is more telling than words, here is an excerpt from an American program where Wim Hof teaches breathing technique to Joe Rogan (from 3 minutes):
Exposure to cold
Wim Hof is not nicknamed “The Iceman” for nothing. Among these numerous records, we can remember the one where he remained immersed for 1 hour and 52 minutes in a bin filled with ice cubes.
Far be it from me to immerse yourself in ice, you can still take a cold shower, especially considering these numerous benefits:
- Boost the immune system (perfect during the Covid-19 period);
- Boost the will (you have to want to stay 5 minutes in an ice shower);
- Decrease the general stress level of the body (after the fact);
- Lose weight (in view of the calories consumed by the body);
- Reduce the sensation of pain (the Ph becoming basic, the pain receptors are inhibited).
And many other benefits …
To sum up overall, the respiratory technique used by Wim Hof makes it possible to release a high level of adrenaline in the blood (comparable to a jump in rubber band). When you combine it with exposure to cold (the cold shower), you will voluntarily tip your body (and your mind) into a physiological state of extreme alertness.
So, as in an immediate danger situation, this rush of adrenaline will allow you to have:
- Increased mental clarity;
- An increased flow of thoughts;
- A tenfold increase in information management.
Applied in your work, this method will spontaneously allow you to be more productive thanks to a concentration boost.
And coupled with productivity techniques like “Deep Work”, it will allow you to get the job done faster and more qualitatively than usual.
How to integrate these 5 habits in your daily life?
The best time of day to set up these 5 habits is in the morning when you wake up (habits included in the guided session that I proposed earlier in the article).
Please note, the order of execution given is for information only. Everyone will have to test and adopt what works for them.
- A muscle and joint awakening session (see guided session);
- Three rounds of Wim Hof breathing: many guided breaths are available on YouTube (watch out for contraindications);
- A cold shower: you can start with a classic shower and finish with cold all over the body or a single part (everyone should go at their own pace).
Immediately afterwards, follow up on a work session in “Deep Work” mode (or any other method) and take advantage of the periods of pause to perform mobilization exercises (such as suspension and complete squat).
And don’t forget to work on a raised desk.
So much for these 5 habits, I would be curious to have your feedback. Have you tried them already? Or would you like to put them in place? Tell me in the comments.