I saw a great keynote by Ian Sanders a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to wait until this week to summarise it as I think it ties in brilliantly with Mental Health Awareness week.  

Ian points to the fact in his opening gambit, that fuel really matters in the world of work and that being happy and healthy are also major contributors to being successful.  

What it actually boils down to, (pardon all of the cooking references) are these 8 key ingredients:

1/ Thinking about your space.  Place and space really matter and work is no longer just a building that we go to.  Mix it up and work from different spaces.

2/ Know what sparks your best ideas.  A few people in the crowd suggested taking a shower and this rings true for creative people like screenwriter Aaron Sorkin but it might be walking the dog, taking a train journey, listening to classical music- whatever works for you.

3/ Think about timing.  Again, people are different in terms of when they are most productive.  Are you a morning or evening person?  Don't do your expenses or mundane tasks when you are at your most productive.  Daniel Pink covers this off brilliantly in his book Scientific secrets of timing

4/ Choose the right tools.  A lot of our clients are looking to break down barriers for their employees and empower them so that they can get their expertise out there.  After all your brain is for having ideas and not storing them.

5/ Be more curious.  Humans are curious by nature but we often suppress it.  Meeting random people on the tube, bus trips and holidays can often lead to a networking opportunity or idea.  

6/ Bring 'You' to work. Honesty builds trust but being authentic and candid (within reason) can also earn respect.  More importantly, though, it allows you to feel comfortable and do your best work.

7/ Get outside.  There is research to show that fluid movement triggers movement in the brain and the outdoors can often be used as a great backdrop to produce great ideas.  Internal meetings especially can often become boring and repetitive- jazz them up by going for a walk and talk.  

8/ Know what you need to burn brighter (what is your rocket fuel) Jumping on a packed train or tube or bus every day can have a negative effect and start you off on the wrong foot.  Walk or cycle to work or take other modes of transport where possible- the Thames Clipper for example if in London or a tram.

I write this as I sit on a train from Edinburgh to Glasgow and It strikes me that a lot of the 8 ingredients mentioned above are common sense but we just don't think to do them.  If we tweak our daily routines to suit our needs, know when we are most productive, be more curious and don't chain ourselves to our desks then we will be more productive and of course, our mental health won't suffer.