Winter Warm Ups


Before any game, event or sporting challenge, no matter the sport or the weather, athletes take time to warm up. This month, as we move into the chilly months of winter, we explore the importance of warms up in terms of studying, working and our careers.It is said that the right warm up moves make you faster and more resilient, and the reason why people spend some time warming up is simple; you are preparing your muscles and body for exertion. Researchers say that warming up helps to prevent injuries, and improve performance. So if we want to improve our work performance, perhaps we need to explore how “warm ups” could potentially help us in working more effectively and productively. One of my colleagues shared with me how she often felt that she arrived at work feeling slightly frazzled, as she had to get herself as well as her 3 children ready for their day. She said that she found herself spending much of her morning being unproductive as she was not mentally prepared for work. A simple change in her daily routine and waking up earlier, allowed her to prepare better for the day ahead, not only physically but mentally too. A perfect time to mentally prepare yourself for work could in fact happen on your daily commute to work. The average South African spends between 30 and 90 minutes a day commuting to work, according to The South African Market insights. Instead of cursing the traffic, you could use this time to warm up your brain so that you can be more effective and productive at work.

Here are our 4 Simple yet effective “Work Warm Up’s” we recommend you use in order to jump start your day:
  1. Plan and Prepare:Think about the top 3 things that you need to achieve for that given day. Spend a few minutes in the morning or the night before to visualise, organise and prioritise your work.
  2. Problem Solve: Think about the problems you are having at work that you have been unable to solve the previous day, and approach it from a different angle. Perhaps, after a good night’s rest, you are more open to finding a creative solution.
  3. Listen: While living in the United States a number of years ago, I had a 60 minute commute each day to work. I felt so frustrated that I was wasting two hours a day sitting on the train. But, instead of feeling frustrated, I started to listen to motivational audio books on the way to work. This small change improved my overall attitude, and increased my knowledge as well. I always managed to arrive at work feeling ready and motivated for the day. If your commute is short, ensure you listen to the news to keep up with current affairs and what is happening in the world around you.
  4. Eat the Frog or Start with the easy tasks first: Start with the most difficult tasks first. Athletes know which muscles to stretch before they exercise. They are in tune with their bodies and know what they can achieve. Similarly, we need to be in tune with our brains and capabilities. Do you find it easier to start the day by doing things that are easy for you to accomplish like catching up on emails? Or do you like to “eat the frog” and get started on the most difficult and unpleasant work task first, to clear it is out of the way? Knowing what works best for you and doing that, will ensure that your “warm ups” for the day will result in you being as productive as possible.Yours in learning