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Thinking time for management reflection - an essential management tool

How many times have you said “There aren’t enough hours in the day” or “if only I could press a pause button, so everything stops for a while”.  There are so many demands placed on us and the pace of work is increasing as companies compete for market share. Just responding to the barrage of e-mails that land in your inbox every hour, let alone juggling your instagram and snapchat activity, can be overwhelming.

It is no wonder that there is a rise of stress in the workplace as people grapple with prioritising workload, making quick decisions often in the absence of enough data, and the demands of reporting to multiple bosses.  Often managers turn to Executive coaches, or time management courses to support their development of a work/life balance.  There are also many performance lessons from sport. But what happens if you don’t have access to costly solutions?

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Performance lessons from sport

I have just arrived back from the Isle of Man after watching sane individuals ride motorcycles at insane speeds. The average lap record was broken, it is now over 135 mph. To get an idea picture this, take a drive out of London on the country roads to the south coast. Through villages and towns. Then imagine that every time you slow down to 30mph for a tight bend, you have to go back up to at least 160mph to get your average back to 135mph. In some parts you’ll need to do nearly 200mph to keep that average speed. And this is on country roads.

Sports people can achieve some extraordinary things, and push the ability of their bodies and minds into areas which seem incredulous to us ordinary folk. All of them are brave of course, it takes courage to push body and mind into these high achieving areas. And so this what the Isle of Man T.T. got me thinking about … is there a place for courage in our day to day organisational lives?

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Waving goodbye to stress and raise your personal impact

Robert Sapolsky is a hero of mine. Anyone who explains how Zebras are somehow linked to business has to be a hero. “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” was written 15 years ago, and since then ulcers have remained the same, and so have Zebras. So indeed, have the pressures we undergo in modern organisations.

In fact, I guess one could argue that pressures in modern organisations have become greater over the time. In Sweden there has been an experiment to reduce the working day to 6 hours. The resulting stress levels were lowered, happiness rose. The experiment was shelved eventually because it proved too costly (click here for details). So, we all seem to be faced with a truth we have come to accept … we live pressurised lives. Even far more pressurised than Zebras, who actually live with the possibility of being killed at any moment.

 

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