The notion that the way to succeed is via early rises, intensive pre-work Yoga sessions, marginal snacking and limited downtime has been shattered, thanks to a survey by Eventa.
Want to know the real route to success? Balance.
Turns out these women – although still favouring salad lunches and regular trips to the gym – aren’t shy when it comes to tucking into treats, takeaways and trash television.
It’s acceptable not to be a morning person, since 70% of the successful women surveyed admitted to hitting snooze, at least once, before rising in the morning – one participant even snoozed for 45 minutes.
Most arose at reasonable times too, over half setting their initial wake-up alarm for the respectable time of 7am – or later.
These days, lunch breaks seem to be a thing of the past, despite extensive evidence that working through your lunch decreases productivity, so it’s refreshing to see 56% of those taking part in the survey regularly escaped from their desks.
Clearly, energy levels waiver earlier in the day if you try to power through without a break, so these women have obviously embraced the notion that balance gets you a long way. Finding time for a lunch break can be a struggle – particularly with deadlines looming or new tasks arising – but setting aside at least 20 minutes to revive should become routine.
Kirsty Leighton, MD of Hudson Sandler says, “[I] always [take a break]. Not necessarily at lunchtime, but I do give myself time away from the desk and the office just to think. Changing environment is great for coming up with new ideas.”
Indulge (without binging)
Daily treats and takeaways obviously aren’t recommended for a balanced diet, but the word ‘balance’ does open the gateway for well-timed snacks and indulgences.
Of those surveyed, 70% admitted to tucking into treats, like cake, chocolate and crisps; fruit and nuts were still up there in the top picks of daytime munching too.
No longer should you feel guilty for reaching into the sweet bag when in need of an energy boost. Snacking also helps curb your hunger and aid portion control at mealtimes; a cube or two of plain chocolate has even been suggested to have health benefits.
An occasional takeaway was also enjoyed by the participants, with almost 80% admitting to ordering in at least once a month; two thirds grabbed a menu no less than once a fortnight and 42% indulged once a week or more.
Again, balance is the key here and these women – most of whom regularly exercise and eat sensible meals – show there is room for indulgences within their routines.
TV is OK
Too many of us wrongly believe minimal downtime means success, when the reality is extended hours are more likely to lead to stress and burnout.
Setting time aside to do things you enjoy, as well as relax in front of the TV, is more than acceptable.
Three quarters of those surveyed watched at least an hour of television a day, with over a third watching more than two hours. ‘Trash’ TV featured heavily too within evening entertainment regimes; reality television, soap operas and series boxsets among the top choices.
Reading proved popular as well, with 80% doing so regularly. Preferred reads were often inspirational and biographical books, but many enjoyed crime fiction and 16% admitted to reading the odd piece of chick lit – so even a balance in your bedtime reading is encouraged.
It’s too easy to think attempting to be superhuman is the way to succeed, but these women prove striking a balance can lead to success. Kate Simpson, Travel Lead at Facebook Global Marketing Solutions tries to leave work at the office, saying, ‘Unless there is something urgent happening or an event the next day I will turn off my email … I think it’s really important to enjoy your time off and that isn’t just confined to holidays.’
The likelihood is you’ll be happier, more optimistic and, therefore, more productive, if you allow yourself the small pleasures in life.