When I do talks, workshops and group sessions I often check in and ask people how tired they are and how stressed they feel. I am always struck by how many people will identify that they are tired and how much stress people admit to feeling. These are both clearly big issues for us personally and they have a big impact on us in business.
In my experience the two issues and are linked. They are not necessarily linked to the number of hours we do or even the quantity of demands made on us by employers, peers, staff or customers. For me, it is the quality of these hours, the type of demands and our own ability to identify with and separate from them.
When I talk about stress and tiredness I use the analogy of any pressure system such as a boiler or kettle. If we have pressure coming in we must have pressure coming out. If we do not then the build-up of pressure will lead to an explosion. We get tired, not because we are doing too much, but we because we are not releasing enough. I do not say producing enough because that sounds as if I am suggesting simply that greater productivity is the key. What I am suggesting is that there must be equilibrium here. If we have input whether from others or our own work there needs to be constructive output. So producing recommendations or reports that are not actioned is not output. It may be productive but it is not output. In this scenario, the pressure stays in the system; the unread or unactioned reports lead to greater energy in the system. It is this energy that leads to a build-up of pressure and that, in turn, causes stress. Constantly navigating around and carrying all this unused energy drains us and we feel tired.
We can all imagine the scenarios similar to this. The meetings that are repetitious or lead to no actions, the client who constantly demands but never gives back, whether in better payment terms, contract extensions, references and recommendations or even just appreciation; the staff member who constantly needs support, attention, and push but never motivates themselves. All these create input into a system with not equal release through constructive output.
If we are tired or stressed we need to look at the systems we are in and ask is there balance, is there flow, do all my actions or those of others lead to constructive output. This output should not feed into the existing system but create momentum of its own.
We run a number of workshops on how to look at our activity to ensure we are not feeding a system or charging ourselves with energy, which if not released will explode. This explosion manifests as bad temper, withdrawal and ultimately illness and stress,
If you are interested in this please feel free to contact me on 086 623 5551 or [email protected]