Before this weeks post…
I am completely transforming my online presence this week – new website design, new blog system and a new mailing system as a result there may be some double postings for a week or two and, it is very important that you adjust your spam filter to allow mails from email@example.com to come through. Please do let me know what you think.
And now for the post:
As business gets more competitive and what many think of as a poor business climate it is managers and employees who pay the price.
Most of the business people I know are permanently overstretched. The consequences of overstretch are well known, but we still seem to find it very difficult to change our habits.
First lets go over the more obvious consequences – when we are overstretched we:
- Will often make mistakes or miss opportunities
- Rarely do everything as effectively as we can
- Make ourselves vulnerable to minor illnesses, such as colds
- Increase the risk of more serious illness
- Increase the risk of relationship breakdown
- Increase the risk of burnout
Many of us a are so busy just trying to keep on top of incoming that we are quite unable to maintain a wider perspective. Key aspects of our overall role slip down the priority list as we focus on the urgent at the expense of the important. Things like keeping up to date with innovations and industry news, maintaining contacts and being inspired (by things like this Monday Mail).
Technology can help with services like Facebook and Linkedin/Today make it easier, but we still have to make the time, have the energy and the brain space to do it.
I wrote about some of these issues a couple of weeks ago in “Sharpen Your Axe” and suggested some strategic adjustments that may help, this week I want to suggest some more personal changes that can help. But first, we have to accept that running around like a headless chicken is not necessarily the most effective way of working and, counter culturally, taking some time to get perspective, heal and take care of ourselves is often more efficient overall.
Formula One teams run complex simulations to work out exactly how may pit stops are faster than not stopping and running on worn tires
Fit for work – physical fitness has a huge influence on all of our cognitive, intellectual and creative capacity and abilities. Our brain consumes significant calories and oxygen, the fitter we are in our cardio-vascular system the longer and sharper we can be. Making time for physical fitness will pay dividends even if we are mostly desk bound.
Physical fitness is not just about training, what we put into our bodies is also critical, fueling ourselves well will strengthen our immune system protecting us from illness and help our brains to work to their best as well. Good diet can improve memory and alertness.
Both sleep and rest are also vital for alertness and health. Trading sleep for work hours seldom pays off in terms of overall effectiveness. Often when I am running a workshop people find it difficult to say no to evening social opportunities. Of course socializing with team members has great value as well, but we must also know when it is time to say “no thanks – I am off to bed.”
As well as sleep and exercise proper downtime is also really vital for our overall wellbeing and, actually, unless we work to live it is worth remembering that friends and family are a big part of the reason why we work in the first place.
If you feel that your fitness could do with a kick start I strongly recommend taking a look at my wife’s new business Viva Sports Events.
If you want some ideas on how to improve your health and energy through your diet my friend Dawn is absolutely the best and most easily understood nutritionist I have found.
If you are already fit – come and join me for a 167km wizz around the mountains of Mallorca on the 30th of April.
You can subscribe for free at www.neilcrofts.com