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The Key to Success Is To Invest in Yourself

By Jon Sawyer on 29/07/2016 - 0 Comments

Updated following the Olympics, September 16th

During most summer seasons (6 weeks in July and August) around 60% of the UK population are able to take a break to enjoy valuable time out with friends and family on their annual vacation. This is time for rest and relaxation and to recharge the batteries - to enjoy the rewards of being in business.

Being able to do this can reap significant rewards in terms of revitalising the thought process and igniting the motivation to seek new ways to overcome business challenges. On the flip side, if you haven’t been able to take any time out, this may over time, lead to ill health from stress and anxiety brought on by the interminable pressure of business.

The challenge is simply to be in control of your business to ensure you can do what you want when you want. This article sets out ways in which you can get back control. 

The subject matter for this article was triggered upon meeting a business owner who was overweight and reported the pressure of business was always on his mind – even when he was having an occasional glass of wine on a Saturday night. He commented that the previous week he had started to experience depression as he felt that the business was getting out of control. He needed help, and he is not alone. One of the keys to dealing with this is having a healthy lifestyle.

The Lancet recently reported findings from a study of physical activity of more than a million people which has been timed to coincide with the Olympics. They found that being inactive is known to increase the risk of conditions such as diabetes, some cancers and heart disease. The research found that those who sat for 8 hours a day, but were physically active, had a lower rate of premature death with those who were not active. For many having an office job, there is no escape from sitting at the desk for long periods of time.

Often food is brought to the desk which becomes a further tie to being inactive. The importance of being fit in body is key as this may directly affect the mental state and potential loss of creativity, leading to an inability to cope with workload pressures. In short, poor physical and mental health has a direct link to sedentary behaviour.

Research conducted by the British Heart Foundation (2015) in their survey of 2,000 office workers found that

What is the answer to help you get back in control of your health? Taking a few simple steps may make all the difference, such as deciding to walk to and from work. Other ideas may be to have showers put into the office so that you can take time out for physical exercise during lunch breaks.

Other ideas include having meetings where no one is allowed to sit. Research indicates that people burn an extra 50 calories per hour if they stand, and will ensure the meeting is kept focussed and on track.  Use the stairs more often than the lift.

All these ideas and more are important on building a culture of keeping you and your team healthy at work. Whilst the Olympics may provide a temporary blip in getting people out and participating in sport, try and make sure your business starts to build a robust culture of helping staff to be healthy through taking regular exercise.

One other important ingredient to being productive at work is making sure you take time out to re-charge the batteries. Often business owners feel tied to the desk, which is often the result of poor delegation. If you plan taking time out of the business what are the benefits. Here are just a few:

1. Accept there is no perfect time to take a holiday

The greatest challenge to taking time off is often the business owner. Suffice to say that taking a holiday will not necessarily solve business challenges, they will still be there when you get back. Importantly though, you will be recharged and refreshed and able to better deal with these challenges upon your return.

2. It may help spark moments of creativity

Taking time out will help you to look differently at problems and challenges helping you to a Eureka moment where you can find new and creative solutions to existing problems.

3. It will force you to delegate

Simply by planning in to take some time out will force you to put systems and process in place to delegate activities whilst you are away. The greatest challenge to effective delegation is not the team but the business owner, and so give it a try!

4. Invest in you and your family

Taking time out will help you to rebuild relationships and put you back in touch with those closest to you, who support you through ‘thick and thin’. We can never ‘switch the clock back’ and moments with the family should be regarded as an investment.

5. Establish the right culture

Taking time off sets the right culture for your team – helping all staff to feel empowered to take time out.

The power of small change is a concept used to explain how synergies can lead to a greater end result. Being healthy and taking time out are two such ways in which you can reap real benefits for you, your team and therefore, your business. If you unable to take time out this summer and/or are feeling work is getting too much then it may be time to take a new approach. Time to think again?

Contact your local Icon Advisor for an alternative view.

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