This week is Mental Health Awareness week, a topic that lies at the heart of Zenergos as we aim to boost energy, well-being and productivity levels, and help the people and companies we work with to thrive. There has been an increase in workplace stress, particularly with our move towards an ‘always on’ culture. This impacts personal well-being which has a negative effect on the level of high performance being attained and maintained in the workplace, with our top talent often ending up burnt out.
At Zenergos, we believe we are making steps to address these issues as we offer strategies to improve the energy and wellbeing across teams.
So what really drives you? This blog will help you to determine your Core Values, so that you can tap into more of this purpose filled energy.
The overall aim is not only to help you identify your Core Values or True North, but also to look at whether your values are currently being met and what actions you can take to live more of a values led, energising life.
Teams and organisations with a clearly defined set of values are able to recruit, retain and engage people with similar values to the team. This makes for a highly successful, highly energised group of people.
Research shows that having a sense of purpose is really good for our health! It reduces stress and depression, improves short term memory and mental speed, helps us sleep better, cope better with life’s hic-ups and helps us age more successfully. It also importantly reduces our chances of having heart disease, stokes, developing Alzheimer’s or dying prematurely.
Many of us spend too much time trying to find that one true purpose in life. However Stretcher in his book Life on Purpose, recommends setting a different purpose for each off the four domains of our lives: family, personal, work and community, again creating a balance, something that we feel very strongly about at Zenergos.
How often do we truly pause from our busy lives to distress and re-energise? As I look through the calendars of my clients, I see a day back to back with meetings, and not a break in sight… not even for lunch and often not even time to go to the bathroom. And we are not much better in our ‘downtime’ – checking phones for emails, worrying about work, looking after our families, keeping up with friends. Busy has almost become part of who we are.
Put simply if we want sustained high performance this is not the way to go about it. We know that stress reduces our IQ by 10-15 points and tiredness affects all aspects of our performance, including creativity and problem solving by up to 50%. What we need to do is pause, reflect and consider every day, what are we doing for ourselves to recharge our batteries.
Here are 6 great habits to get into, including some bad ones to break, to ensure you wake up fully energised and refreshed from a good night’s sleep.
1. Make your bedroom a Technology Free Zone
One of the worst habits that many of us have is checking our phones and other devices, just before we go to sleep. In fact, on a course that I recently ran, one lady even admitted to checking for emails in the middle of the night!
Lack of energy is the most common health complaint amongst adults and lack of sleep may be to blame.
The Royal Society for Public Health reports that although adults need on average 7.7 hours per night, most of us sleep for 6.8 hours, which is almost one full night’s sleep lost every single week. This Cumulative Sleep Debt impairs all aspects of our performance by up to 50%, including memory, creativity, decision making, reaction time and judgment.
Typically, people are expending energy working longer but not recovering energy with adequate downtime. The truth is the secret to increased productivity is taking some time off and holidays have been proven to lead to significantly higher performance upon return to the job.
Here’s the thing; just because we can work all the time, doesn’t mean we should. This is incredibly ineffective and unproductive in the long term.
In a recent leadership conference, we asked how many people worked over their holidays and I would say 90% of leaders put their hands up. This was met by a gasp (and a few giggles) from the room, as the true scale of how ridiculous that was hit home.
Before technology and our “always available” culture, we would prepare for our holiday, for example we would ‘hand over’ to a trusted colleague any critical work and we would leave a voicemail that informs customers of who to speak to, in our absence.
How many of you still do this? From my experience, not enough of you.
Do you feel full of zest and raring to go? Do you start your week well, but as the week goes on, so your energy goes down? Or are you just plain exhausted, wondering if it’s your age, your kids or even the weather?
Most of us use our weekend to recover from the week we have had. But wouldn’t it be nice if you felt full of va va voom every day of the week, including your weekends?
The point is you can, you just need to understand what is draining your energy and fix it. For this you need look no further than your lifestyle habits.
I’ve always taken a holistic approach in my coaching and a view that we need our mind, emotions, body and spirit to be strong and balanced if we are to feel full of energy. Zenergos is certainly built upon that philosophy.
We often treat exercise and fitness like a vanity, something we do to shed a few pounds and look good in our clothes. But exercise is so much more valuable than that. Actually when you look at consistent high performers they have an unwavering stamina, and this they get from having good physical habits, particularly exercise.
However what most of us will say is that by the time we get home from work we simply don’t have enough time nor energy to exercise.
Here at Zenergos we would love you to make 2017 the year where you no longer de-prioritise your own well-being for the sake of work. The reality is, you will be far more effective and present in both your home and work life if you get into the physical habit of fitness and plan it into your diary.