Tag: stress

By Bedros Keuilian for Entrepreneur South Africa

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. If Jack is an entrepreneur, it also makes him less effective at building insane wealth.

What’s Jack got to do with you? If you’re a business owner with big plans, every hour of your life matters. Screw around during the day, and you put your bottom line, your lifestyle and your employees’ paychecks at risk. You have to do something useful with your time, even when you’re not in the office. Everybody needs a hobby, and if you pick yours wisely, they’ll all serve your money-making mission.

What hobbies do you need? Here are three that you can’t afford to skip and how they improve your life and support your mission of building an empire.

1. A hobby to make money
“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

You’ve certainly heard that quote before, and there’s some real wisdom to it. But tread carefully. Following your passion blindly won’t do you any good. There are plenty of broke people out there who are staying true to their passions. Unless you want to join them, you’ve got to go beyond your passion and into profit. This means finding the angle that lets you turn your passion into financial gain. And if you’re savvy enough, you can find that angle with absolutely anything. Don’t believe me? Look at history. There was a time when people spent their hard-earned money on pet rocks. And today, naked yoga is a thing people pay to participate in.

If you think your passion doesn’t offer the opportunity for dollars to trade hands, you’re wrong. Research some more. Figure out what people with the same passion most want to learn, have, become or achieve. Then develop a product or service tailor-made to fulfill that. Then sell like there’s no tomorrow.

Remember that if what you create helps you, it’ll help others with the same passion. You can sell your product or service by sharing your own story — no sleazy “tricks” needed.

2. A hobby to keep you fit
Science has proven time and again that there’s an intense mind-body connection. In fact, the connection is so strong that you can’t afford to be out of shape.

Work hard in the gym, and you’ll make your body hard and ready to take a beating. At the same time, exercise conditions your mind to do the same. Working out actually develops your brain, building your mental toughness so you can take on any challenges and stresses that come your way.

Let your body go, watch everything else follow.

And don’t think I’m just saying this because of my background in the fitness industry. What I’m saying here applies equally to entrepreneurs and business leaders in all industries, and it cuts both ways.

At my lowest point, even I had gotten inconsistent with my workouts, and I wasn’t pushing myself as hard I should have. This showed in a business that was not only disorganised and losing money, but also on the brink of collapse.

The first thing I did to take back control of my situation was to take control of my health. That meant making my gym time a non-negotiable, so I could rebuild the physical and mental strength I would need to pull my business out of chaos. If you’re in a similar bad place with your business, you can use this same strategy even if you haven’t ever made fitness a priority before.

While I love lifting weights, your hobby doesn’t have to involve a gym. Get outdoors and hike. Swim every day, increasing your speed and distance. Play basketball or racquetball or tennis or volleyball. Just make yourself move and the synapses of your brain will fire faster and bring you more money-making ideas.

3. A hobby to keep you creative
The simplest ideas are the best and easiest to execute, but it takes serious creativity to find simplicity. This kind of creativity isn’t cultivated in an office. It’s developed out and about, where you can take in new stimuli and actively relax.

Find your free place and grab a paintbrush or pen some poetry, master the harmonica or go full force into needlepoint. Whatever you choose, get creative and funky. Don’t be afraid to mess up. That’s where you learn the most about yourself and break down mental barriers. Push yourself beyond your artistic comfort zones and you’ll never plateau.

My creative outlet is drumming. The most physical of instruments, drums give me a way to beat something to a pulp without going to jail. I have a good ear, and through practice, I’ve developed quite a strong rhythm. However, I don’t sit around hitting everything on the quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes. I push myself to learn new fills and patterns, tempos and styles that make my brain work in new ways.

To be honest, these growth practices aren’t always a fun start to finish activity. In fact, they can be crazy frustrating. But when everything finally comes together and my feet and my hands go where they’re supposed to go, it’s absolute euphoria!

I don’t leave this attention to detail and commitment to success in the practice room. I take it to work with me. Doing something creative can do the same for you. Make it part of your life and it’ll open your eyes and help you see the world in a different way. You’ll understand how things come together, and you’ll have a fresh perspective on whatever problem is nagging you at work.

And you know what happens when you’re thinking clearly and your creative juices are flowing? Another million-dollar idea crops up with a clear path leading right to it.

So pick your hobbies, and go at them with all you’ve got. You’ll never work a day in your life, but you’ll earn an obscene amount of money.

Burnout is now officially recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a clinical syndrome, legitimising the physical and mental impact that overwork can have on employees. Nicol Myburgh, Head of the HR Business Unit at CRS Technologies, believes that companies should familiarise themselves with the symptoms of burnout to minimise the potential impact on employees and the business.

“In the fast-paced corporate environment, employees feel they must keep up or risk being overlooked for promotion or a salary increase. Even artisans are under immense pressure due to long hours, demanding customers, and the constant battle to make ends meet,” he says.

Adding further impetus to concerns around burnout is the fact that digital transformation is resulting in jobs becoming more specialised. This is putting even more pressure on people to get their work done as effectively as possible. And in South Africa, with retrenchments a constant fear in the current uncertain economic climate, employees are expected to take on more responsibilities with fewer human resources on hand.

Symptoms
According to WHO, burnout is characterised by three dimensions:
• Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
• Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
• Reduced professional efficacy.

Burnout is the result of chronic workplace stress that is not successfully managed. Despite the recent classification, it is by no means a new phenomenon and people have been struggling to deal with it for as long as they have had jobs. However, thanks to the connected generation, the issues surrounding this clinical syndrome are now out in the open and decision makers can no longer ignore it.

Education vital
“Despite this, few industries take burnout seriously,” says Myburgh. “Often, it is only if a job relates directly to a person’s safety that managers treat burnout with the respect it deserves. In the corporate environment, employees are typically squeezed until every ounce of their energy is depleted.”
Consequently, education is critical.
“This can involve researching the impact burnout has on the business, running workshops and acknowledging the fact that it is a legitimate problem. People who suffer from burnout should never be told to ‘get over it’ or ‘snap out of it’. Instead, it needs to be managed properly and with consideration for the sufferer.”
Burnout can be viewed as a precursor to depression and if not taken seriously, can lead to other mental health issues that can also negatively impact performance at work.

Minimise burnout
There are several steps employers can take to minimise the risk of their staff suffering from burnout. This includes the obvious step to stop overworking them. Additionally, identify the signs before it is too late, be observant when managers engage with people, and offer counselling if required.

Employees can also do their bit to prevent themselves from burning out.

“People must feel that they are in an environment where it is safe to talk about the feelings they are experiencing,” says Myburgh. “They must be able to have a discussion with their line managers if they are feeling overworked or unable to cope with the demands of their jobs.

“People must also learn to maintain a better work life balance. Yes, the temptation to work from anywhere is there, but this can turn a nine-to-five job into a 24×7 position, which can lead to burnout. Participating in relaxing activities away from the workplace is vital and in extreme cases, burnout sufferers should consider removing themselves from the situation causing the burnout, if this is possible.
“These are difficult times for employees and employers alike. Competitiveness is at an all-time high, resulting in an ongoing pressure to constantly perform at optimum levels. But if the signs of burnout are not heeded, burnout could become seriously detrimental to employees’ general health and wellbeing,” Myburgh concludes.

Aside from political uncertainty, a tough local and global economy and increasing cyber threats, South African businesses are now also stressing about the weather in 2017.

This is according to the latest Allianz Risk Barometer for 2017, which gauges the biggest worries and risks faced by businesses across the globe.

Globally, businesses are becoming increasingly worried about the unpredictability of the global business environment, following a few surprises that cropped up in 2016 with Britain’s decision to exit the EU, and the US electing Donald Trump as president.

“Companies worldwide are bracing for a year of uncertainty,” said CEO of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Chris Fischer Hirs, (AGCS).

“Unpredictable changes in the legal, geopolitical and market environment around the world are constant items on the agenda of risk managers and the C-suite.”

South African businesses are no exception to this; however, the local risk landscape has other things to consider, with natural catastrophes making its debut among the ten biggest risks companies face in the country.

While South Africa isn’t known for extreme weather, the past year has seen a lot of damage done by hail storms and flash flooding – but taking the prime spotlight is the severe drought which battered the country’s agricultural sector in 2016.

Natural disasters are a big worry, but only ranks as the 7th biggest stress among SA businesses. Cyber incidents – such as cyber crime, data leaks and IT failure – still ranks supreme, with 30% of companies ranking it as the top worry for the year.

“Cyber incidents costs the South African economy around R35 billion annually, with the most common threats being from hackers, disgruntled employees, negligence and competitors – so (it’s no) surprise to see this risk ranked first in the country for the second year in a row,” said Nobuhle Nkosi, Head of Financial Lines AGCS Africa.

South Africa also continues to face macroeconomic challenges – including low commodity prices, the Chinese slowdown, and the tightening of US monetary policy – while also suffering from its own internal pressures such as inflation, weak domestic demand and socio-political tensions, Nkosi said.

These are the 10 biggest risks companies face in 2017:
Source: www.businesstech.co.za

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


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