| |

Newsletter: December 2009

Take a Real Break this Festive Season. Or why we should learn to manage fatigue.

Are you planning a real holiday break over this festive season? If not, perhaps you should. Post-Christmas conversations are generally loud with complaints of exhaustion, stories about family conflicts and moans about over-eating; seldom about rest, renewal and well-being.

Life is so hectic and holiday entitlements increasingly are broken into small slabs of time to minimise disruption to work, so if we want to make the most of the times available to rest we need to plan for and manage them. Why is this important? Hasn’t Christmas always been frantic and stressful?

Fatigue and its management underpin this concern as research evidence proves the importance of making rest time a priority. In some workplaces fatigue management is mandatory, its compliance driven by legislation.

Management of fatigue depends on acceptance and then behaviour changes - in eating, resting and exercise. Changing attitudes and behaviour, both of which are formed from habits, must inevitably be led by managers. And directives only work in part; coaching is a more effective strategy for the longer term.

An excellent article, the first of two by Carolyn Preiss, the Director of Alert Fatigue Management explains how fatigue can affect us and why.

You can assess just how relevant it is for you during and after the festive season from the key points below.

What is fatigue? - mental or physical weariness that leads to poor judgement, slower reactions and mood changes. The causes are varied but fatigue can be cumulative and sleep deprivation dangerous.

Did you Know? We sleep on average one hour less per night that we did 80 years ago.

Read the evidence >>>

How much sleep do we need? Although individual needs differ, generally 7-8 hours sleep per night is the average. However factors that cause disruption to sleep such as noise, eating patterns, temperature or breathing disorders can impact sleep quality and are equally important. Sleep debt is like a bank loan – you have to pay it back.

When are the fatigue risk danger periods? Our ‘body clock’, the circadian rhythm that drives us, has programmed us to sleep when it’s dark. The high danger periods are between 3am and 5am and also post-lunch. Fatigue can lead to Microsleeps, when extreme weariness has us nodding off.

What can you do about it? Try these strategies:

  • plan to catch up on some sleep; take a real break and reduce the sleep debt hanging over your head.
  • read Carolyn’s article and learn the facts about fatigue.

Read the article >>>

Coaching Special Offer

Take advantage of this occasional Special Offer and revitalise your career. Three coaching sessions for the price of two. Click here >>>

Worth Reading

One hour/per day = one book/per week
= 52 books/per year!

Over to you.

I've challenged you to switch off, take a break - so take the chance to devour the kind of books you've been planning to read all year. Even the escapist kind. If you do find a book that would interest other readers of this newsletter, I'd welcome your review next year.

In January I'll offer an enticement for anyone with a book to recommend - or a video or film. Enjoy your break.

The purpose of this Newsletter

Positive Change Consulting shows people how to build great leadership, manage change, improve teamwork for business productivity – and restore balance to your life.

In this newsletter we aim to alert you to the latest research into leadership, report people-related workplace news, suggest ways for encouraging staff involvement to improve your business and alert you to the things we are doing and the services we can offer you.

Disclaimer: any links provided are for your information only. They do not consititute an endorsement by us. So, please ensure that you fully investigate any materials/offers/information presented before entering into any contracts or agreements to ensure that they meet your individual needs. Positive Change Consulting cannot accept responsibility for your choices.

Positive Change Consulting

ABN 96 095 506 924

Jennifer McCoy

Jennifer McCoy Director & Principal Consultant

Tony Austin
Director & Administration Manager

Your Views

We'd love to hear your feedback!

Free Download

Workplace Change: Staff Check

Staff Check

Subscription Info

Why are you on this list?

You could be any of the following:

  • a client we’ve swapped business cards with
  • a member of a networking group that we are part of

To Unsubscribe

Click the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the email, then choose to unsubscribe from any or all of your subscriptions.