A few basics gives you a stronger framework from which to reach for the stars!

Each team day we have a segment we call ‘back to basics’. It’s where we take a look at our team performance and check we are getting the fundamentals right, before we start looking at all the extra things we could be doing. It makes it much easier to stretch for those ambitious goals if we have a good foundation from which to start.

We ask ourselves if we need to invest in any of the fundamentals which we know we will use time an time again, and will reap the benefits many times over.

Similarly, I’ve made a list of the basic items that are worth a bit of investment to help with all those little tasks in life that compile into much bigger benefits. If you don’t have the funds to invest in them now, they can be great ideas if you are asked what you might want as a gift. Alternatively, save up and get the best quality items that you can afford.

Here’s my list of basics to get right.

1 Get the best night’s sleep possible

How is your mattress, pillow and bedding? Good quality items that are the right level of firmness can be the difference between getting a really good night’s sleep and waking up tired. Multiply this effect day after day and the benefits start to add up quickly.

2 Set up your desk so that you can work in comfort

Have you set up your work area to properly support good posture? Most people sit at their desks for around 8 hours per day, and bad positioning can really take its toll. Check your seat is the correct height and tilt, and you are sitting the right distance away from your keyboard and screen. If you are using multiple screens, are they positioned correctly? Do you need ergonomic equipment like a sit-stand desk? If you have access, book in an assessment with a workplace health and safety professional that will show you how to improve your set-up to avoid longer term injuries and pain.

3 Make every meal faster and easier with a decent chopping knife

A good chopping knife is versatile enough to perform most kitchen tasks and having one that is of quality, and is kept sharp makes every job that much easier. If preparing food is easier, you are much more likely to cook at home, eat better and save money. Look for a knife where the blade extends into the handle as this means it won’t break, and get yourself a knife sharpener to keep it as good as new.

4 Wear quality shoes for exercise and make sure they fit

This is especially true for runners, but having decent shoes to wear whilst doing any type of exercise will reduce the risk of injury and help you push harder. Different brands suit different types of feet, so it’s better if you are able to try them on and walk around in a store. Many stores also offer a fitting service. It can be surprising how far your toes need to be from the end of your shoe in order to avoid impact from changing direction quickly. Try not to wear your exercise shoes when not actually in the gym or sports field and they will last much longer.

5 Have an appropriate day-bag to carry what you need

The bag that you pack each day is the basis of your daily habits. You can’t exercise if you haven’t packed your gym clothes, and you can’t eat better and save money if you don’t pack your own lunch. I prefer one bag that’s large enough for everything you need, rather than toting multiple bags, and find one that is comfortable to carry when full. A back-pack is going to be the best style for your shoulders especially if you need to walk a lot. If you need it to be smart try a black back-pack.

What are your basics that you have invested in? Let me know in the comments!