High performance without burnout

Working harder does not necessarily equal high performance and may actually be contributing to burnout says Next Evolution Performance CEO, Vanessa Bennett.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently described burnout as an ‘occupational phenomenon’ and updated its definition to, ‘a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed’.

“Many people equate high performance with working harder,” Ms Bennett says. “This can create a great deal of workplace stress, which can ultimately lead to burnout. We believe that high performance is not about working harder, but about making the most efficient use of personal energy. It is about taking a neural, mental and physical approach that combines neuroscience, psychology and sports training principles.”

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Mental Health: Prevention is better than cure

The intersection of psychology and neuroscience demonstrates there is a lot that people can do to prevent mental health problems, according to Vanessa Bennett, CEO of Next Evolution Performance.

“Around half of all Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime,” Ms Bennett says. “However, in the same way that you don’t usually go from being physically fit and well one day, to being debilitated by illness the next, you don’t usually go from enjoying mental health to suffering mental ill-health overnight. It’s therefore reasonable to assume that many more than half of all Australians are either suffering a mental health problem or are somewhere on the spectrum away from enjoying mental health, and that’s too many.”

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Coping with change in the wake of the Banking Royal Commission

The Banking Royal Commission has brought down a set of recommendations, most of which look likely to be adopted by the Government, regardless of who wins the next federal election.

If adopted, these recommendations may force many financial services companies to introduce significant changes to their business models, within challenging time frames and this is likely to profoundly impact the mindset of financial services professionals.

Compounding this problem are other industry changes, the overall perception of the industry and the fact that all these issues must be juggled alongside the demanding day-to-day tasks of running financial services businesses.

“At a personal level, when first faced with having to deal with all that, people can feel overwhelmed,” said Next Evolution Performance (NEP) CEO, Vanessa Bennett. “It is never easy to cope with significant change, particularly when it is imposed and largely outside our control. It takes a lot of time, effort, energy and money.

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Give your team control to maximise their performance

Following on from my our last discussion of self-responsibility – the more control people think they have in any situation, the more engaged and positive they will be. This has been shown to lead to a greater mind-set for high performance. Because let’s face it, there is at least a little control freak in most of us.

It will also have the win-win impact of freeing up your time. If you don’t give your team control to make decisions they will constantly feel the need to run everything by you, which can take up more of your time than really necessary.

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Are you and your team thinking like high performers?

In 2014 we explored the foundations of high performance. We highlighted that in order to maximise your performance you need to maximise your energy. And your energy comes from three broad categories – Body, Brain and Belief.

This year we are going to focus on the “belief” aspect. We will look at practical tips to help you and your teams to improve your mindset for high performance.

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Are you and your team operating at maximum performance?

Earlier this year we had a series of blogs all based around the foundations of high performance; What’s really holding you back from maximum productivity?How to plan your days and weeks for maximum output with less effort and Have you planned for productivity (output) or hard work (input)?

So before we go onto some of the deeper issues concerning high performance, it seems like a good time to do a recap of some of those concepts, along with a few extra ideas, to cement the foundations.

So let’s recap…….

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What’s really holding you back from maximum productivity?

When people think of trying to maximise their productivity, the conversation generally tends towards things you can do differently in the workplace.  And admittedly, most of my recent articles have focused on the work aspect.

There is actually a lot more to your productivity than focusing just on what happens during the day at work.

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How to plan your days and weeks for maximum output with less effort

Following on from my last blog around, we are going to further explore some ways to structure your days during the week to maximise your output while decreasing your effort.

Again, let’s think about the way the athletes train over the week.  They typically mix up their training according to heavy, medium and light training principles.  Each of these categories leaves the athlete with varying levels of fatigue.

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Have you planned for productivity (output) or hard work (input)?

In previous blogs  (How is your team’s productivity? and Is your output as high as it could be?) we discussed how important it is to decrease effort levels in order to maximise productivity and we discussed pace as a tool for individualising your approach.

Let’s take that a step further and talk about planning adequate recovery time as an important part of your productivity plan.

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