Yes, the headline is true. Germans are more productive than us Brits. The culprit? Stress. So we spoke to a Director of Psychology and his advice is invaluable.
A recent national survey revealed that 86% of people acknowledge resilience as the most important thing all business people need. However only 50% of people feel that they possess the quality. Low resilience levels = low levels of productivity. Germany is a far more productive country than ours – they are 35% more productive per hour than us.
Yet nearly two thirds of Brits (62%) said that they want to be more resilient and a fifth said that they think this would help them specifically at work.
We spoke to Leading psychologist Dr Mark Winwood about the findings. “We live in an ‘always on’ society. When we’re not busy working, we’re doing domestic chores, looking after our families or checking social media – sometimes all at the same time,” said Dr Winwood. “Even finding five minutes for ourselves to pause to think, reflect or take a relaxing soak in the bath can be a challenge. But they’re crucial for our wellbeing.”
What can we do to become more productive?
“Feeling tired, stressed and always on the go can undermine our ability to deal with life’s challenges. But finding the time for ourselves to take stock, recharge and reflect on our priorities is all too often lost to the fray of day-to-day living. To be at our best, we should be taking at least an hour to wind down for bed. However in today’s frenetic society, this can be a luxury many people don’t have. Starting with 20 minutes is more achievable. Then getting away from blue light (for example from the TV or mobile phones) will also help calm the brain and let it switch off, allowing for a more restful and restorative night’s sleep.”
How does this apply to us individually?
TV presented Julia Bradbury, is keen to champion change. She told Compelo: “I have a hectic work schedule and three young children so finding time for myself can be difficult – but I swear by taking some ‘me time’ and getting out for a walk to build my resilience. Walking is my passion, and I often set out a problem that needs addressing then dedicate my time out walking to mull it over and think about solutions. Moments of reflection are so important.”
“An intense example which proved to me the importance of positive thinking was a time when I learned to rock climb from scratch in eight weeks. This tested me physically and mentally; especially when I got trapped under a ledge on a high cliff. It was a moment of uninterrupted thought, focused solely on me and what I can achieve. It took me about 20 minutes to convince myself that “I can do this”. That moment was a turning point, when I realised it’s just as easy to turn a petrifying thought into a positive one. Dealing with your situation and thinking positively is crucial to resilience.”
The survey was conducted by AXA PPP healthcare and Dr Winwood is their Director of Psychological Services at AXA PPP healthcare. The MeTime #TRYit challenge starts on 15 May 2017 – make your pledge here.