Let’s get this party started
It is the New Year. Time to sort out your priorities, get focused, write down your goals, and get this 2016 party started!
I know I wrote that it is unwise to go against the nature’s natural cycle – it is winter and time to hunker down, rather than fire up. Wait for spring, when new life begins to bud out, flowers start to bloom, and nature begins the restart cycle. With this philosophy, March is the new January. 🙂
This tip isn’t really a resolution, and at the same time it is brilliant in it’s simplicity. Not a goal, just food for thought.
First, let me explain the inspiration for this productivity tip. To do that, we must travel to the lovely country of Finland.
Did you know that the National Center for Education Statistics runs a program for international student assessment? They look at math, science, and reading literacy and rank countries based on their students’ test scores. Every three years they compiled data from 2000-2012 and looked at trends in student performance: international trends in average scores.
Turns out the Finnish students came in 12th in Math, while their USA counterparts were ranked 36th. In Science Finnish students were 5th, USA kids were 28th. Reading? Finland=6 USA=24. These scores make USA look pretty lame by comparison.
How about our children?
Should bright USA children be shipped off to a Scandinavian country in order to prosper? No, it’s easier than that. Once upon a time, there was a USA kinesiology professor named Debbie Rhea who had a six week sabbatical in Finland and was trying to discover the differences between her school back home and what she saw happening in school in Finland.
What did she see?
Finnish parents hovering over their kids bent over homework late into the night? Longer school days? School on the weekends? Tutors for all children paid for by the government? Teachers available 24/7 via Skype?
Instead, she saw more of this:
WHAT? What are those kids doing?
They are playing outside. Having recess. As a matter of fact in Finland, they have recess for 15 minutes EVERY HOUR.
Doesn’t that sound like a dream? Especially if you are a kid!
The Liink Project
Rhea was so impressed, she formed a program called the Liink Project. Her mission: to inspire schools to have more play to help kids have better focus, pay attention, improve listening skills, and increase test scores. She has 7 schools enrolled in her program, with more coming on board all the time.
Turns out, in a story published on today.com, Debbie Rhea was quoted as saying, “The key is “unstructured play,” which Rhea described as kids being allowed to run, play and make up their own games while teachers mostly stay on the sidelines to make sure everyone is safe. The breaks should take place outdoors because fresh air, natural light and vivid colors all have a big impact on the brain and its function, she added.”
(I love that she is a kinesiology professor- the study of movement.)
What is the result of all of this recess?
One teacher interviewed said, ” Her students are less fidgety and more focused. They listen more attentively, follow directions and try to solve problems on their own instead of coming to the teacher to fix everything. There are fewer discipline issues.”
“We’re seeing really good results,” she noted.
Guess what: she’s talking about kindergarteners and first graders. 5, 6, and 7 year olds!
At our house, we called it “getting your crazies out”. My younger daughter would say, “Mom, can I run around the outside of the house ten times?” and off she would go. Then, and only then, could she focus back on her homework.
What is the takeaway?
Do not sit at your desk for endless hours. Remember: Sitting is the new smoking? Your hips, back, neck, knees, and feet are suffering. Your brain is suffering. Your attention span, focus, and creativity: all compromised.
GET UP AND MOVE!
OUTSIDE IF POSSIBLE!
There is research to back it! Show your boss this blog post. Print it, laminate it, and post it over the coffee maker or water fountain.
Put a reminder with an alarm in your phone. It beeps, you get up.
Simple as that.More movement, more productivity! Click To Tweet