Before we begin, just a small disclaimer. This post does not have a scientific background - and that’s definitely not our intention. What we want is to ask questions rather than assert something. Hopefully, if it works as expected, it should cause some reflections! :)
This post is about our culture, about our experience maintaining a healthy work environment. We know there are many hacks out there, many apps to help make your life better, but we just want to share what has worked for us.
Let’s start talking about pauses. Do you think you can be very productive for 8 hours straight? Everyday?
Your brain needs to pause. That’s when creativity happens. Make sure you have some time intervals in between your tasks. Drinking coffee, grabbing a bowl of açai, walking outside or even riding a horse (true story) are some ways we spend our breaks here.
These things will free your mind. It doesn’t matter if you are working on the next big algorithm or if you are designing a new beautiful UI. The pauses will be good for you. That’s when your brain is working behind the scenes without you even noticing.
Pay attention to step four
Breaks also allow you to be completely focused on the task at hand when you are working on it. Because you know that soon you’ll have a break and you’ll be able to pick up your phone or do something else.
We take breaks so seriously here that we regularly use the Pomodoro technique even in our team meetings. We’ve also created an app for this purpose called Cuckoo. It constantly reminds us of taking breaks.
When was the last time you went to a doctor for a check up? Are you a 100% sure everything is ok?
We need to constantly listen to our body. If you are feeling tired, that’s not without a reason. Pay attention to the signals you receive.
Getting some rest after long periods of work is often more productive than staying up all night. A good night of sleep will make you refreshed and allow you to reach your full potential the next day.
We strive ourselves to create an environment where working long hours per day is not required. We love what we do, but we believe that to do it even better it’s essential to take care of our bodies and minds.
Remember about the pauses we mentioned? The best way to spend them is exercising. Maybe you don’t like to go to the gym, I know, it’s boring sometimes. But what about trying new sports and finding the one that best suits you? Ever thought about rock climbing? It’s not that hard!
If there is one thing you can do that will be good for your brain, that thing is exercise. Ok, this time I have a scientific background.
People complain they don’t have enough time to exercise. After all, if you work so much, how are you going to find some space in your agenda to do something healthy? The answer is to prioritize. You need to treat your health as something that’s a priority for you. The same way you treat your work, your family or even eating. Exercise needs to be a priority.
Whenever talking about health, we tend to think about nutrition, exercises, drinking more water, etc. But that’s not the only part. There is emotional health too.
Are you spending enough time with your family? Do social networks make you happy? When was the last time you messaged a friend and said that you miss him/her? In the busy world that we live today, we often don’t stop to think about these things, even though they are crucial for a great life balance.
At Startaê we have the openness to talk to each other about our emotions, feelings and insecurities and how we can solve them together. Even in our meetings we are honest about not being productive if we were not feeling well. This creates a safe environment where everyone feels good to be themselves
Do you few angry with something? Have you internalized that anger inside you? That’s when meditation comes in handy! A few of our team members have taken meditation as a daily practice and have reported how it has helped them deal with their emotions and daily situations better. A little mindfulness can go a long way.
Sometimes there is a lot of expectation about these things. After reading an article, watching a TED or even reading this blog post, people think they can reshape their entire life in a blink of an eye.
But keep in mind these changes take time. No rush, no pressure. Construct your habits slowly. All of these things put together, will eventually sum to make your life better and more balanced. Have you heard about Kaizen? It has everything to do with continuous improvement. But well, we will get back to that in another post!