How You Can Maximise Your PerformanceTia Winter | 17 June 2016
We've all experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed by work. In today's non-stop, twenty-four hour workplace the pressures exerted on businesspeople, creatives and manual workers, and indeed most other types of worker, are countless in their scope and immense in their gravity, and often it can feel like we are drowning under a sea of tasks.
These changes in the make-up of the working situation has manifested itself most pointedly as burnout syndrome, a malady characterised by depersonalisation, reduced performance satisfaction and outright exhaustion in sufferers. Dealing with burnout syndrome isn't impossible though, and there are a multitude of ways that at-risk workers and sufferers can both guard against and treat the illness.
If we take a more measured and applied approach to our breaks and workplace-centred recreational activities, we can truly enjoy the benefits of rest, which in turn will allow us to drive forward, completing tasks efficiently and effectively, all whilst reducing the levels of workplace-induced stress and anxiety.
Mentally Challenging Work
Scientists, business or salespeople are all required to think on their feet in an abstract manner, day in, day out, and often this can be exhausting or stressful if experienced unabated for a long period of time. Issues can be avoided though with a few small steps and changes to break-time rituals, and these very same steps can improve one's productivity.
During break periods, workers can decide to log on to a site such as MobileCasino.co.nz. At these sorts of casino gaming sites, games such as poker can be played for free (or indeed, for cash), flexing the mind and relaxing the body in tandem. In studies regarding burnout syndrome, the enjoyment of hobbies has been shown to help by promoting a feeling within sufferers that their life is not completely focused on work.
But how do these games exactly work the brain? Well, in essence, strategy games of this ilk correspond with the left frontal lobe of the brain and Alpha brain activity - both known for logic-based reasoning - but throughout the game the mind also ebbs and flows between here and the right frontal lobe, known for instinct and emotion. Therefore the left lobe is exercised as one trains the brain, and conversely, when the right kicks in to action, the player is able to express feeling and emotion, decreasing stress levels that may have accumulated through periods of intense work. What's more, as a love for the game is formed, skills are accumulated and the notion that one's life is not entirely work-driven is promoted.
For many though, short, regular breaks are the best way to maximise mental acuity. By taking a short walk, or through listening to some music for ten minutes, the mind is calmed through re-focusing. In highly social individuals, having a conversation with a friend or loved one is another excellent way to reduce individualisation-based stress. A move of focus away from challenging tasks and on to more casual, calming pastimes is an imperative.
Having to call endless numbers of clients, both established and prospective, or working through the entry-level cloud of coffee orders and licked envelopes can be a difficult state of affairs to adjust to for many, leading in the worst-case scenario to a full-blown burnout.
When doing lots of repetitive actions and tasks, the first step a worker or manager should take is the grouping of tasks in to portions that are around twenty-five minutes in duration. These short bursts, permeated with short, five- or ten minute breaks, will let an employee focus on the job at hand without allowing the likely large task to overwhelm them with its size. For truly competitive individuals, introducing means to compete against others in the team within this twenty five minute time span can also pay dividends. However, be tactful in your application - not every employee has a competitive tendency
It's also a great idea to make a work environment as pleasant as possible, with lighting, sound and temperature optimised so that the attention-spans of staff are bolstered. Music can also be a wonderful motivator, however this again should be tailored to the particular group.
Break periods are also, again, a sound means to promote mental wellbeing. If employees are required to carry out lots of repetitive movements then muscular stretching and water intake - to encourage blood flow and hydration - should be advised; both of these things are known to improve mental focus. Short walks can also release the mind from the confines of the office, and when combined with healthy and balanced lunch-time foods, sleepiness - the bane of repetitive work - can be negated.
Whilst many find that their stress is borne out of mental overextension, manual workers such as builders and carpenters can similarly find themselves bogged down and worn out by a seemingly unending series of tasks. However, here the threats to an individual's health and wellbeing are perhaps more pronounced and dangerous, compared to the professions outlined above. Bodily damage is an issue for both employees and employers, and the development of conditions such as occupational overuse syndrome that can drastically damage one's health and even stop a person from working altogether, can affect all parties.
For the physical worker, regular rest is key. Depending on how strenuous the tasks being set are, employees should take regular breaks, as much as four five minute breaks an hour in the most strenuous workplaces. Before relaxing muscles, workers must make sure to do a series of stretches in order to stop the accumulation of lactic acid and warm down. Then, sitting back in a comfortable, upright posture, workers should drink lots of water, perhaps whilst listening to soothing music. The absolute imperative here is to keep the body safe and not overworked. For managers, regular monitoring of employees should be undertaken so as to discover any un-reported physical issues, and to flag up any potential for developing mental problems such as burnout.
A positive worker-mindset can only be achieved by an equally positive and attentive workplace. Whilst some managers may see this as a waste of funds, the drag on a business from burnout can be pronounced, stopping a company from performing optimally.