We want to do the best job possible. We want to perform at the highest level. We want to succeed. Sometimes the environment itself impairs our ability to do so. When I worked in Eastern Europe, my nurse colleagues did not have healthy work environments. At the time, they worked without electricity, without an emergency generator, without adequate food for patients and staff, and in less-than-desirable conditions. I still recall seeing a full-term infant pass away because it wasn’t possible to control the baby’s body temperature in a nursery that was as cold inside as it was outside. But the nurses, with conviction, did what needed to be done; they performed at their best.
Providing a Wellness Environment
There is no doubt that a healthy, healing work environment is conducive to staff satisfaction, optimum performance, and good results. By embracing a workplace of wellness replete with circles of wellness in which staff may relax, rejuvenate, and rejoice, we take the first step toward total wellness. Staff feels appreciated, valued, and recognized in a meaningful way.
Performance levels drop as work periods become longer and sleep loss increases. Staying awake for 17 hours has the same effect on performance as having a blood alcohol content of 0.05%. The most common effects associated with fatigue are:
- Lack of concentration
- Impaired recall
- Poor judgment
- Reduced ability to communicate with others
- Reduced fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
- Reduced visual perception
- Slower response times
What can you do, here and now, to enhance your performance and be a better version of yourself? It’s simple… take a break! Ongoing breaks are critical to our performance and to our health. Where can you start? Start Maintain a personal and professional environment that sustains, rather than drains, you, by following these tips:
- Intentionally build breaks into your day; schedule them on your calendar or in your diary
- Start the day, your calls, and your meetings with mindfulness
- Keep those appointments with yourself
I was inspired by my nurse colleagues in Eastern Europe. They performed at their best, and so can you. That said, you must take a break! Remember, in the words of Mohandas K. Gandhi, “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”