2018’s #workgoals should not just be focusing on work—it should be focusing on both work and your well-being, because your happiness ultimately leads to better health. However, past years have proven this is a lot easier said than done.

Many jobs require around-the-clock attention, sometimes forcing our health (physically, mentally and emotionally) to take a back seat. So this year, we challenge you to take a deep breath, find balance, and try to implement these tips into your daily life for a more successful 2018. Because what good are you if you’re not feeling your best?

1. Don’t skimp on meals—especially breakfast

Sometimes, our schedules don’t allow us to eat—or so we tell ourselves that. Your days may map out like this: You skip breakfast, maybe have a bag of chips and coffee to tide you over at 11:30 a.m. before running to another meeting, and for dinner, you settle for fast food or take out. Sound familiar?

If it does, you’re not alone. In fact, 31 million Americans skip on breakfast daily, according to a study done by NPD Group. But regularly eating breakfast can help you lose weight, improve your mood and focus, and even help ward off disease. All things that help with work performance and productivity.

So, what should you do? Planning out your meals in advance can not only help you avoid skipping meals but also save you money and provide a healthier alternative. And though most of us don’t want to spend weekends meal prepping, all you need to do is make sure you have something to grab on-the-go, like breakfast bars and pre-made meals.

Employers can help by offering more than just coffee and sugar-filled snacks at the office. For example, at rbb, we have fresh fruit and other breakfast options delivered every Monday morning for the staff. Even something this simple can help employees build good eating habits that help with focus and overall attitude in the office.

2. Incorporate sleep hygiene and be consistent

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, good sleep habits (sometimes referred to as “sleep hygiene”) can help you get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can affect our daytime functioning, hormonal balance, appetite, and immune system.

Per the CDC, some habits that can improve your sleep health are:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends
  • A quiet, dark and relaxing bedroom at a comfortable temperature
  • Removing electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smart phones, from the bedroom
  • Avoiding large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime
  • Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

To improve your sleep hygiene, you must make an effort to bring yourself to a stopping point in your day. This also makes for a more balanced lifestyle.

3. Make time for yourself

Work is already demanding enough. Add caring for a family, and it makes “me time” even tougher.

So how do you carve out the time? We say make the small moments count. For example, take advantage of your commute, even if it’s only 10 minutes. Listen to a podcast that you like, or even shut off the radio to decompress.

Or instead of all those little moments you spend looking at your phone throughout the day, put away the distractions and take a 15-to-20-minute walk outside. This not only gives you time to re-energize, it also helps with your focus at work.

As a company, offering a workplace that is malleable to support all types of employees and their preferences can help make them be more productive and efficient, so encourage staff to make time for themselves to reward their hard work. This can range from proposing different start-and-end work times to starting internal groups for similar interests, such as wine clubs or book clubs for employees to connect.

4. Move around!

Some of us are constantly on-the-go, but for the most part, the majority of us sit behind a computer all day and barely get up enough to go to the bathroom.

Take your lifestyle from sedentary to active! We’re not saying you have to go out and get a gym membership today, but even incorporating the slightest changes can help your overall health and state of mind.

For example, try taking the stairs rather than the elevator. Or consider a standing desk for work. Even taking the long way to pick up lunch will help.

As an employer, you can help your staff by encouraging different activities, such as creating walk/run clubs or offering a yearly wellness stipend for a gym membership. At rbb, we’re always encouraged to create workplace habits that helps our performances, and you’ll be surprised by how much more productive staff is when they start living a more active lifestyle.

In summary

Implementing these four basic steps won’t only help your focus at work, they will increase your mood and can generate an overall happier lifestyle. And while we know careers are often a top priority, make an effort to give your daily routine and health just as much importance as your next big business venture.