15-minute increments are sometimes all Director of Business Operations Heather Creach of CGH-Global has for exercise, mental clarity, and healthy eating during an 80-hour work week.
Proposal writing and business development positions often require you to work long hours, limiting your time to take care of your health. As Creach works on proposals, her time is filled by reviewing every checkbox, editing writing for concise sentences, and meeting requirementsâ€”all within a short timeline.
At Remote Medical International, we understand firsthand the challenges that come with proposal writing. We spoke with Creach, our Director of Business Development Kevin Thompson, and our Assistant Medical Director Richard Misiaszek to understand how to balance a busy schedule while keeping healthy habits.
â€œCarving out personal time for yourself is helpful instead of just doing more work all the time, because it is helpful to the project too,â€ said Thompson.
Staying organized, eating healthy, and exercising are all ways you can help yourself balance a healthy lifestyle while still accomplishing your projects.
Take 15 minutes to organize and mentally prepare for the writing process. Preparation can help you be more efficient and thinking more clearly.
â€œBecause writing is an endurance activity, itâ€™s not something you can just do for five minutes,â€ said Creach.
In Creachâ€™s preparation, she creates checklists on paper, writing down every task that needs to be done for each step of her project. If something doesnâ€™t get done the day before, she moves it to the top of the next dayâ€™s list.
Thompson also creates checklists, but instead of writing it down on paper, he uses online task management systems like Asana or sharing files on Box. These tools help Thompson collaborate with other team members and keep track of communication all in one place.
â€œItâ€™s simpler to have it all in one place since multiple people can see conversations going on without having to clog inboxes,â€ said Thompson.
When Thompson needs to concentrate on the writing process, he blocks out chunks of time during his day when he doesnâ€™t respond to his email, allowing him to focus solely on writing. Listening to music also helps both Thompson and Creach concentrate.
Setting a routine can also help you maintain organization. According to our Assistant Medical Director Dr. Ricky Misiaszek, keeping a daily routine can help keep you be more efficient and reduce your stress levels when working on your projects.
â€œRoutine allows me to be the most balanced person I can be,â€ says Misiaszek.â€ â€œWithout taking care of yourself, itâ€™s hard to be as effective in whatever you do.â€
Take a 15-minute walk outside of the office. Taking a moment for some fresh air and exercise will help clear your mind and refocus on your project.
Stepping away from writing helps both Creach and Thompson refocus. Creach enjoys yoga two to three times a week and going for occasional runs throughout the week. Even if she is only able to work out for 15-minute increments, she finds value spacing them out throughout the day.
â€œTaking care of yourself, and taking the time to refocus yourself, is important,â€ said Creach.
According to Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association, small amounts of exercise can reduce heart disease and your health benefits increase the more you increase your exercise.
Thompson also tries to carve out five to 10-minute breaks throughout the day to take a short walk around the block or talk with coworkers in the office. A few exercises outside of work include running outside if the weather is nice, working out at the gym, mountain biking in the spring and summer, and skiing in the winter.
â€œThe biggest thing to do when you have a short break is to get up and move around, even if it means just to grab a cup of coffee,â€ said Misiaszek.
According to Misiaszek, getting up and away from your desk helps keep you active during work and can clear the mind. Finding a friend to have a conversation with to break up your day is another way to help keep you productive.
Here are a few activities that Misiaszek recommends:
- 5-10 minute walks outside
- Yoga exercises Â
- Deep breathing exercises
- Gentle stretching (i.e. occasionally bending down to touch your toes)
Take 15 minutes to plan out your meals for the week to help you prepare for eating healthy and balancing your meals.
Thompson makes a point of eating healthier when working long hours because he has less time to exercise. Having a subscription to a veggie box and eating healthy fruits and vegetables throughout the week are choices Thompson actively makes to stay healthy.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, adults should eat between one and a half to two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables per day.
For breakfast, Thompson enjoys vanilla-flavored Icelandic Skyr yogurt and granola. At lunchtime, he likes to grab a salad from Whole Foods for a healthy meal.
â€œI eat vegetarian more when iâ€™m trying to be healthier,â€ said Thompson.
Dinners with Creachâ€™s family help her enjoy the work week, even when it gets busy. Coffee also helps Creach stay focused throughout the day.
Coffee and tea are beneficial in moderation, according to Misiaszek. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help you keep hydrated and productive. Staying away from sugars and snacking on high protein foods can also help you stay healthy when youâ€™re on the go.
Here are some suggested snacks from Misiaszek:
Want to learn more about how Remote Medical International can help keep an entire workforce healthy?
KEVIN THOMPSON, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
As Director of Business Development, Kevinâ€™s primary responsibility is to oversee Remote Medical Internationalâ€™s proposal strategy and development. Working collaboratively with marketing, sales, operations, clinical management and external resources, Kevin drives solutions that build long-term relationships with our clients.
HEATHER CREACH, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS
As Director of Business Operations, Heatherâ€™s primary responsibility at CGH-Global is to manage proposal strategy and development. Working to pursue opportunities, Heather facilitates conversations, identifies necessary components and executes the proposal opportunity. Â