It has been a big week…. My life is normally a rush with plenty going on and this week was no different. I was on Exercise with the Army Reserve, my uncle had his funeral and father in law had a major operation. So as I sit here at my computer on the Saturday evening I review the week that has been. It has been a big week with plenty to do and also some high emotion highs and some low lows too. It is interesting how a week can have some great successes and also some emotional lows. However I do believe that we are able to work through most things.
The Army Exercise was to complete a number of engineering tasks over the course of the week. The personnel were pushed hard to achieve all the tasks. Despite the soldiers living on very few hours’ sleep each night and working 18 plus hours a day they had a great time and morale was great. They were focused on what they were trained to do and did it with good productivity and also completing tasks to a good standard. There was a sense of achievement on all their faces as they were debriefed this evening and dismissed.
So what drives everyone to work so hard for such extended periods?
How is it that we can push ourselves so hard and be so tired and exhausted, yet love what we are doing?
What is it in a team that as a team we come together under pressure?
Last night Kim and I went to watch the movie “Olympus has Fallen”. The trailer looked good and we decided for a late night session as we had no children at home. We both like to watch a good movie and on a semi regular basis we go to the movies as a date, just to spend some couple time…
I was surprised how empty the movie theatre was for a Friday night, however it allowed us the room to move to better seating. We both agreed that it was a good movie. I must say there was action nearly all the way through the movie. If you like action movies it is definitely worth a watch.
Without giving too much away the movie is about a secret service agent that was removed from the President’s detail after an accident that resulted in the death of the First Lady that gets caught up in an attack on the White House. The attack on the White House resulted in the President taken hostage and the Secret Service agent is his only hope.
Tonight was my mother in laws birthday and we celebrated at our home. My wife went to great lengths to organise the food, gifts, cake and also most importantly the people. It took my mother in law by surprise. She really enjoyed the night and it was very, very, very much a surprise. There were all the children, pizza and cake… The perfect combination.
As all the food was divided up between everyone, the children started eating and talking. A little later four of the children ended up in the lounge room watching television. As I observed them I found that they had gone from talking and noisy in the other room to quiet as they stared at the television screen. I thought to myself that this cannot be good…
As they all were dragged into the television show, I asked them what was on? Only one of them even knew the name of the show. I thought to myself how the television sucked the life out of them and that this could not be positive. Television shows seem to be produced in a manner that drags us in and suck up our time.
However are the children the only ones that get sucked in by the television?
No way…. We all do…. Unless we manage our time and are disciplined we as adults are dragged into the television the same way that children are. What has happened to connecting with real people and stories?
There is a lot of material on how much sleep we should have. A review of the material available it would seem that for the average adult the optimum amount of sleep is somewhere between seven and nine hours a night. However what about the quality of Sleep? Do you sleep well? Or do you suffer from insomnia?
I am not sure about you, however personally I should allow myself more time to sleep. I do not always get as much sleep as I should. However even when I sometimes do get enough sleep, the quality of sleep is not always there to match. I have either dreamed for what seems like all night or my mind has been active. Either way I have actually woken up tired and worn out.
Yet there are other times that I am totally relaxed and sleep very well. I get a good amount of sleep and it is a deep relaxing sleep. When I wake up I feel relaxed, energised and ready for an awesome day ahead. So what is the difference? How do you prepare yourself for a quality sleep?
It seems that everyone has different routines that help them to get a good night’s sleep. Some popular routines include:
- A wind down activity, such as reading or watching some television
- Avoiding physical activity later in the evening
- Avoiding stimulates such as caffeine later in the evening
- Go to bed at the same time each night
- Reduce stress in your life
- Ensure that the environment is appropriate, such as dark and quiet
By getting the right amount of sleep (Quantity) and getting good sleep (Quality) sleep you will have more energy, be better focused and feel better about yourself during the day. I wish you sweet dreams as you get great sleep.
- Do you get enough sleep?
- Do you get quality sleep?
- What do you do to help you sleep well?
Today I popped into one of the hospital’s here in Canberra to visit my father in law and I heard that they were short staffed. I have worked in Children Services and Aged Care and hear that there is a lack of qualified staff there too. There is talk in rural areas that there is a lack of professionals. There is even an Australian Government website listing the professionals for which there is a skills shortage (http://deewr.gov.au/occupational-skill-shortages-information-0).
I was thinking today two thoughts…
- Firstly, how are we actually keeping schools, hospitals, aged care facilities, etc open with the skills shortage and what does the future look like?
- The second thought was that we are always talking about how we are losing jobs to technology and outsourcing overseas. Is this really the case? And why do we still have a skills shortage?
I am sure there or economists and also workforce planners outside there that will be answer and model these questions and why we are where we are. So, future wise it seems that we either will have a drop in service due to a lack of staff, we will have to pay more for the services that we receive, there will need to be a population policy to match our skill shortage needs or technology will help us to bridge the gap.
I am curious about this topic and have some questions for you:
- Is there a skills shortage in your area? What area are you in?
- What is being done about skill shortages in your area?
- What do you think the future will hold?
How have you spent this weekend?
Being Saturday morning, I had a sleep in. It was good to get to get to lie in and wake up naturally. Though I have much to do this weekend, I decided to enjoy the morning with a sleep, walk the dog and going for a run… This meant that I had breakfast at midday…. I know that some of you are saying what a relaxing day and it was a great way to revive. Which it was… There is also the other side to the coin.
This weekend I have some studies to complete and a number of other tasks. From previous blogs some of you have relaxing weekends with not much on, others have plenty to achieve on the weekend. Those that have relaxing weekends may be wondering why I am blogging about a relaxing start… That is because I am normally the one with plenty to do, which I still have, however this will have to happen tomorrow. By not doing that much today means that I have more to fit into the day tomorrow…. Or do I?
The benefit of a relaxing Saturday, has been that I have been able to clear the mind. On Friday afternoon, I was a little flustered with everything that I had to do, however today I have cleared the head. So, what is organised for tomorrow? There is a plan, however you will have to wait and see, however I can tell you that there was not as much as I originally thought.
If you are an intense goal / task focused person, I have some questions for you:
- When is the last time that you took some time off to relax and relieve?
- Do you feel that your mind is a little full of “stuff” going around and around?
- How does it feel to switch off for a period of time and clear the mind?
- Have you ever had one of those days where you time gets away from you?
- The day just seems to be a little out of control?
- You forget about appointments you have and double book yourself?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, I know the feeling. For myself I had one of these days today. Though not fully out of control, the day was full and I feel like I didn’t finish everything that I planned to do. I had a number of meetings back to back, then there was my daughter’s cross country that I forgot about… Meaning that I had to pick her up in the middle of the day and drop her back at her school. Then tonight, I forgot that I had to drop my son off at his friends place. Don’t worry I did after being reminded….
All this meant that I got to the end of the day and felt that I was missing something, my desk was a mess and I was no clear idea of what I had to do next. Now it is a few hours later and I have started to reflect on the day. As I reflect I ask myself the following:
- What did I achieve?
- Was there anything I missed?
- What do I need to catch up on?
Honestly reflecting on the day, I can say that I had a fruitful day, achieving all the key tasks plus a few. I succeed in moving many tasks forward and I have come to realise that the day did go quickly because there is a lot that happened today that I will need to action. However for the work items these can wait to Monday, as I enjoy the weekend….
As part of my uni course I completed a unit on law in Business. As part of this unit I covered off what some of the considerations for transferring a business, either due to a merger, sale or some other event.
I thought that this article I wrote as part of my studies would be useful to some of you. The article can be found at http://www.ovari.biz/business/transferring-a-business/
I was at a client’s business this morning. I was there to coach them on leadership and Management, however prior to starting I had a few moments to watch their turtle move around in the tank. There was something special about having the time to stop, watch and reflect. Animals are interesting… Initially I thought that the turtle looked goofy and very clumsily swimming around. That said the turtle was very friendly and was trying to interacting with me.
However as I continued to look at the turtle, reflection started to settle in and I started to think… I started to wonder how he actually moved around in terms of his swimming style. From first glance his body just didn’t seem up to the job… However they were… Then there was the breathing thing… How does he breathe? Then the neck… What a flexible neck. Absolutely amazing…
So there I was in a matter of moments, I have changed my view of the turtle from a goofy, clumsily turtle to an amazing turtle with great ability to swim and breathe in the water tank. Not to mention such a flexible neck that made my neck hurt. Through having some time to just observe and reflect I started to see the wonder of nature. Other wonders included the amazing shell and the list can go on.
There is a certain wonder to nature…. It is great that nature can make us wonder and think. It is noticing the small things that bring a smile to your face and get me thinking about how is this so?
- Have you taken time in the last week to stop and reflect about the wonder of nature?
- If so, what was amazing about it?
- How does reflecting on the wonders of nature help you to open your mind and think differently?
I was listening to a podcast this morning and it was talking about relationships. The guest speaker was talking about how they built their business through building relationships with their clients. Some of their methods for doing so included:
- Maintaining a database of clients including information about their business, family, interests and activities.
- Being authentically interested in their clients. This meant that they are interested in their clients business and personal lives.
- Touching base with their clients on a regular basis. This was either in person, on the phone or via email.
- Have an interest in the community they live in and operate their business in. This included an involvement in community and business groups.
The discussion also turned to whether business is based on price or relationships. It was interesting that both the presenter and the guest speaker thought when they were younger that price was the key factor in building and maintaining a client base. However they have both changed their minds and realised that relationships play a big role. And though price is important it is not the only key element to building and maintaining a client base.
However, I do want to point out that this is not a trick that you just do the four points above in order to trick people into doing business with you. It is a philosophy of being authentic and genuine in your interest and care for your clients. Failing to do so will harm your cause.
- Have you ever experienced a dis-in-genuine attempt of someone to demonstrate care for you?
- What are ways that you can demonstrate authentic caring?
- Who are you going to touch base with this week that you would not normally have touched base with?