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Blue Monday

Posted on Tue, 2018-01-16 09:46 by Claire Carmichael

Yesterday was #BlueMonday, statistically the most depressing day of the year. Feeling the impact of Christmas over-spending with weeks of Super Noodles to go, the cold weather warnings in force with no sign of the sun ever returning and bored of our healthy eating/no drinking/no smoking/{insert resolution here} and not yet feeling the glorious benefits; the triple threat of January Blues was truly upon us.

In research from the Co-Op, over 61% of people said they “felt depressed” heading to work yesterday and how many couldn’t even muster the emotional strength to cross the threshold? While it no longer tops the list (maybe due to increased publicity), Monday 15th January is likely to be in the top ten for employees using sickness days in 2018.

How many people in your organization felt too blue to come in yesterday? Of those who did, how positive and effective were your teams? Will the January blues in your organisation even wear off come the 31st?

While Tesco are giving out free fruit and larger businesses are offering a ‘Duvet Day’ allowance for exactly those kinds of days, what should the SME look to do in 2018? What should their resolutions be?

While I can’t speak for them, I can give you a glimpse of my own. (For context, I did come to work yesterday and am still enjoying a diet of nicotine, caffeine and processed food) I brainstormed the following:

1.      Delegate more; be an educator not a complainer

2.      Know our customers better to communicate more effectively

3.      Achieve a healthier work-life balance

4.      Think beyond financials for ROI

5.      Plan better and more often

The list went on…and on….

Eventually I settled on one. At the heart of this thought cloud was just one thing.

To work ‘smart’ not ‘lots’.

Now, this is hardly a revolutionary idea.  Anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes on LinkedIn will have seen a motivational post by a motivational entrepreneur, motivationally explaining how she has transformed her life and her business by working less and working smarter.  What that really means for the SME, what we’re really talking about here, is productivity.

Productivity is an area of relentless focus, especially in the UK where statistically we lag behind many of our European neighbours – we’ve all heard anecdotally about France outpacing us by Thursday lunchtime.  Better productivity is like making a car more aerodynamic – the engine is no more powerful but by streamlining the chassis it goes faster and uses less fuel, win-win. What would that ‘streamlining' be in your business?  Is it better communication?  Greater collaboration?  More flexible working? 

While I stand by my aspiration to work smarter this year, perhaps our business New Year’s resolution should be committing to one change that makes us more ‘aerodynamic’ this year.  If we can get that right, we should get the perfect combination of a more successful business and it might just make us a little bit happier too.

 

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