Having attended the annual Christingle Celebration of Christmas of the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service at Woburn Parish Church for the first time this month, made me think about how nice it was to see many of the services, organisations, businesses and families coming together to celebrate, give thanks and remember loved ones and those less fortunate at this time of the year.
Christmas is one of the most special times of the year when we exchange presents and remind those close to us how much they mean to us. We pamper each other and also indulge ourselves on too much turkey, piles of mince pies, huge slices of Christmas cakes and big glasses of wine. All too often amongst all of this festive excess, our work gets neglected and we let our businesses fall behind.
When January arrives, we then rush to make resolutions, start dieting and detoxing. There is often a big hill to climb to get businesses back on track again. For me, I often find that January involves working late into the evenings, frustrated by the biting cold weather, grey skies and short days.
This annual swing in our social lives from over-indulgence to detox is mirrored by a shift in our professional lives from the calm to the frenetic. We do not perform at our best at either of these extremes. Neither is sustainable and neither is good for us. In fact, rather than this Boom and Bust approach, it would be far better to take a more balanced approach throughout the year, accepting that we are more productive at work when we are relaxed and well rested at home.
In business, our own wellbeing and that of our employees has an enormous impact on our productivity, engagement with work and ability to work together in highly functioning teams. This is not just for short bursts but applies the whole year round.
2012’s New Year’s resolutions of a crash diet, twice daily gym trips and a six day working week quickly fell by the wayside for me. In 2013, I hope to learn from this. My resolutions this January are ones which I intend to maintain for the whole year. They are Sustainability, Balance and Wellbeing, and being part of a supportive networking group will help me to achieve those resolutions.