Being successful at workplace is often associated with hard work, long hours working, less sleep and a lot of stress – would you agree?
When you look at your life at present how are you scoring in each subject – work, sleep, stress, body, leisure? Is it manageable or are you at tipping point?
In the City of London, which is a highly competitive place, it is the norm to sleep less and slowing down as a sign of weakness.
It is known that only a small percentage of people can survive in the cut –throat environment for a long time before serious
health issues kick in. Sadly, it’s too common to see mental illness at work – whether it’s overwork, anxiety, stress or insomnia.
This is solvable: you’ve got to be able to ask for help and your employer has to recognize this as a problem and be able to offer support.
Work-Life Balance is the key but that’s sometimes tricky to achieve, isn’t it?
I found a very fascinating article in The Times recently which revealed a story of the chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group
Mr. Antonio Horta-Osorio (53) who shared in details his personal crisis and personal triumph.
Let me share a few key points – what to avoid and what to bring into your life.
He started his job in Lloyds back in 2011. His challenge was to pay all the money (£20 Bil.) back to the government that had been
used to bailout Lloyds during the economic crisis in 2008-09. He managed to do that within 6 years.
But it wasn’t for free – and here I’m not talking about money – but his personal health and wellbeing.
Just curious, as a self-employed person or a personal in a highly stated position
(CEO, chief executive etc.) do you regard your own health as the most important asset business or not?
It’s so easy to slip into the role of a super man or super woman. In fact, this is how Mr. Horta-Osario felt too – like a superman who could do it all
”The less sleep and the more work, the better.”
…until he couldn’t keep up with his own pace and was admitted to Priory clinic for 9 days to help him tackle anxiety, mental health problems and his prolonged insomnia.
Can you imagine not sleeping for 5 days in a row? So long Mr. Horta-Osario didn’t sleep.
By the way, did you know that sleep deprivation was and is used to torture prisoners during war times?
It’s well known fact that if you don’t sleep enough it reduces the ability to be productive and think straight.
What are the consequences of no or poor sleep?
For Mr. Horta-Osario it was very frightening when he started to lose his abilities.
His speech slowed down, his concentration in meetings was not as sharp, his quick grasp of figures wasn’t there.
Even when he was playing tennis he felt the ball was coming back too quickly.
Sounds familiar? Time to do something about it!
His sleep became non-existent. All he thought about was the bank.
Having too much on he reached the point he lost the ability to switch off.
Being a person in such a high position as he is, admitting you have a problem is seen as a weakness.
That’s the City environment for you. Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the CEO of Virgin Money,
shared she suffered from depression and thought at first it was her own weakness.
Sleepless nights can pass….
Mr. Horta-Osario even though he was experiencing sleepless nights and anxiety he talked himself into believing
that such state of being he was in would pass. But it didn’t. He woke up super tired, went to work tired, came back home tired
and knew when he went to bed, there’d be no proper sleep. After trying sleeping pills which didn’t work for him,
he didn’t know what else is out there to help him…
What else is out there?
As Einstein said: “We can’t solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created it.”
Something has to change for a change to take place, right?
In this case, it’s a lifestyle change.
Just as Dr. Rangan Chatterjee (NHS GP & BBC presenter) says:
“The majority of my patients don’t need a pill, they need a lifestyle prescription.”
Just curious, have you found yourself in a similar situation to Mr. Horta-Osario?
You don’t have to have a huge responsibility as him to feel you’ve reached a tipping point.
What happened in the clinic that helped him?
In Priory clinit he was dosed up with very strong sleeping pills,and was told to rest for 16 hours a day to help his body to slow down
and start recovering in order to avoid nervous breakdown. It took six to nine months to stop using the pills and even at that point
Mr. Horta-Osario was worried it would come back. He has learnt a great deal about himself, how to sleep, how to manage stress.
So the outcome for him was: he became better person, became more patient, more understanding, more considered and more humble.
When Mr. Horta-Osario publicly apologized to his 75,000 staff and established a wellbeing program firstly for his 200 executives,
which will eventually filter down to all employees, there is a high chance that this culture of health and wellbeing at work can be
spread across other big companies and institutions.
What routine has Mr. Horta-Osario established for himself?
- In bed by 10.30 pm
- Dietary changes for optimum health
- Awareness of work-life balance (only spare 2-3 hrs to read emails, documents, handle problems that arise).
If the company where you work is not as far in forward-thinking yet, your personal wellbeing starts with you and your self-care habits.
Are you curious where you are at?
Reach out to me to start with a simple quiz where you test yourself how far are your stress levels, how well balanced is your work and life,
and if you need further help I’ll invite you to explore a way how you can get more from life and be back in charge.
Did you find this post useful?
If yes, I’d be grateful if you comment below and share it on Facebook.
or call me on Skype: Lucie Patel Varekova
Email: [email protected]