dictionary definition of productivity reading 'making the hours in the day go further'

Does cold-water therapy boost productivity levels?

As a staggering 91% of UK adults claim to struggle with stress and burnout at work, cold-water treatments might just be the solution you’ve been searching for

Everyone seems to be striving to achieve optimal levels of productivity and motivation today – whether at rest or play. And we constantly see successful business people preaching about how their “24-hours in a day” looks different to ours. Add to that countless TikTok trends about filling every second of your 5-to-9 before and after your 9-to-5, and it’s as if constantly being on-the-go is essential.

But, with burnout and extreme stress affecting a staggering 91% of UK adults in the working world according to a new report by Mental Health UK, existing in a constant cycle of productivity is not realistic.

However, there are changes you can make to your routine to help reduce these feelings while boosting your productivity levels within more sustainable working hours.

What does it mean to be productive?

Productivity is generally thought to refer to a person’s ability to maximise their time and achieve as much as possible. However, according to Brian Tracy, an expert in time management and productivity, there is more to it.

Brian defines productivity as, “Being actively engaged in meaningful work.” He says, “Being productive is using your time wisely to create high-quality output while being free of time-wasting distractions or interruptions.”

When boosting productivity, we should therefore think less about how much we’re getting done, and more about being present and focused on the task at hand.

Taking Brian’s definition into consideration, you can begin to think of productivity as a mindset rather than an activity. And as someone who has spent the past 30 years researching this topic, Brian can suggest many tips and tricks to increase your productivity levels.

His advice includes planning ahead, setting small goals and eliminating disruptions. All of these suggestions will enable you to focus on what you need to achieve and make your goals clearer in your own mind.

So, while doing all of these things is great, it is extremely important to look after your mind in the process, otherwise it can all become a little overwhelming. This is where cold-water therapy comes in.

Swap the wine for cold water

Cold-water therapy is an exercise in mindfulness, and it is being used more and more to aid productivity levels. Josh Odell, co-founder of Cardiff-based wellness centre Mountain Yoga said: “Cold water clears your mind. When you’re in the pool, you can’t think about anything else. It’s a mental clear.”

Josh, along with his business partners Chris Flynn and Craig McCormack, has recognised cold water helps productivity. So, Mountain Yoga now works with companies and organisations to help increase productivity levels and reduce feelings of stress.

They do this through cold-water therapy techniques.

In the working world, it’s not uncommon for staff to blow off steam with a drink or two once the day is done. However, the team at Mountain Yoga do not encourage this. “If you’re taking staff down the pub and filling them with alcohol, the organisation is only going to suffer,” Josh said. “When we work with organisations, we try to improve the health of employees,” he continued. “And as a consequence, everyone performs better. When the staff feel better, the business does better.”

If you can handle the cold water, then you can handle the stress of life as well

Venting over a glass of wine might feel like an effective way to release stress in the moment. However, Josh, Chris and Craig believe this is unsustainable. You might feel liberated that night but you’re likely to feel sluggish the next morning. You are unlikely to perform as well, leading to more stress.

Mountain Yoga has therefore been working with organisations to break this cycle.  Instead of happy hour cocktails, they provide an alternative form of stress relief in the form of cold-water therapy, which doesn’t have a negative impact on productivity and performance.

Plunging to productivity

“We have a lot of organisations come to us for the cold water,” Josh said, “and they love how they feel when they leave. We give a lot of take-home advice that staff can do in their office, whether it be breathing protocols, using cold water, or getting out in nature together.”

From cold showers in the morning to taking time out for a walk on lunch break, the Mountain Yoga team tell us they are teaching corporate staff about the benefits of cold water. They demonstrate how to use these therapy methods in day-to-day life,  encouraging alternative ways to overcome stress and harness productivity.

“Through the use of cold water, we give people tools to manage stress,” Josh explained. “If you can handle the cold water, then you can handle the stress of life as well.”

Josh says the work that Mountain Yoga does with corporate companies gives staff an opportunity to escape the urban concrete jungle and get back to “the true elements of health.” In doing so, they claim to help people make sustainable lifestyle changes to clear the mind and increase productivity.

So, next time you feel your motivation running low, consider a quick burst of cold-water therapy. And tell your boss…