Integrated leadership and productivity

Our life is made up of many dimensions, each both discrete and connected to the other. If we want to become productive in one dimension, we may need to introduce changes in another.

The National Wellness Institute Framework identifies six dimensions of wellness being Physical, Social, Intellectual, Spiritual, Emotional and Occupational.

 The good news about integration is that making positive changes in one dimension can also create improvements in others.

For instance, sleep is a really powerful healer and a lack of sleep affects us physically and emotionally. At the most simple level. when we don’t get enough sleep, our metabolism of glucose (which gives us energy) declines, and our level of cortisol (which causes stress) increases.Sometimes the most productive thing you can do as a leader is have a good sleep! Changes in one dimension brings improvement in the other.

Going for a walk, particularly in nature, reduces your stress levels and increases your mental and emotional wellbeing. The Japanese government have spent over 6 million dollars studying the health benefits of walking in nature and the measurable benefits. A psychical action has emotional benefits. Changes in one dimension brings improvements in the other.

Volunteering – which comes under vocational wellness – improves our wellbeing. Studies have shown that 61 per cent of people who volunteered at least five times a year reporting that these activities assisted them in feeling less stressed.

Increasing our productivity doesn’t just mean ‘working smarter’. Sometimes it means calling it a day, and going for a walk.

It’s counterintuitive in our hyperconnected, busy-worshipping world. Yet if we really care about productivity, we’ll recognise the importance of integration – and let each dimension of our life fuel the other, rather than deplete it.

Ruth Limkin