I used to suffer from colds every year. Like clockwork 2 to 3 times a year, I’d be stuck in bed suffering. But in the past six years, I haven’t had a cold. I can only attribute that to one simple thing – a change in my lifestyle. More specifically, my diet.
“You can only be as productive as you feel” is what I like to tell clients. Unfortunately, the corollary is also true. When we don’t feel well, we are nowhere near as productive as we would be if we were healthy.
As a time management expert, I help clients make the most out of each day, each hour. It’s what we do with our time that makes the greatest difference in our lives. When we’re young, we don’t really get it. Our bodies seem near invincible. If we get sick, no big deal. We just skip a few days and besides a little extra homework, we don’t skip a beat.
Now I’m a father, a consultant, a manager and an owner and let me tell you, it’s not easy. There are times as adults we can’t afford to be sick, which is why we need to make health a priority.
It’s a critical concept for productivity. The healthier we are, the less time we need to worry about the debilitating effects of illnesses and stress.
Just recently a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully they caught it early on so he’ll likely make a full recovery. Another friend a few years back was hospitalized for months due to overwork and stress at age 40. In his words, “I felt like a 40-year-old man in a 70-year-old person’s body.” He was a millionaire many times over, but that didn’t stop his body from basically failing.
Our health is one of the greatest investments we can make if we want to enjoy life to its fullest. As my mother-in-law likes to say “Don’t skimp on food because your health is the greatest investment you can make.”
I never realized how important it really was growing up. My parents gave me a well-balanced meal, but I consumed large amounts of sugar in the form of candy and Coke and had more than a few bags of potato chips. Still, I felt good, so I didn’t give it a second thought.
But it wasn’t until I lived in Japan that I truly understood the value of good food. My wife of 17 years has taught me the importance of eating well – vegetables, miso soup, rice and variety are the key to my increased productivity. I have more energy today than I did in my 20s and most importantly, I don’t get sick.
I stopped drinking Coke when I was 25 and started drinking water during meals instead. Today, I drink at least 2 liters of water a day. Finally, I focus on getting more sleep and I feel better than I have in years. Best of all, my doctor agrees.
It’s not rocket science, just simple choices that make all the difference. Thankfully, we don’t need to go vegan to transform our lives, but for our loved ones, and for ourselves, we should all make health a priority.
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