Employees are the backbone of any organisation. And their ability to perform in a sustainable way over a longer period of time will drive success and profit. And create a happy workplace. But what is the essence of sustainable performance?

In today’s society most people fill their lives continuously with activities. A work day is a marathon with tasks, meetings, thinking and solving problems. If this goes on for too long, all these stimuli will clogg your mind and blocking insight – the foundation for sustainable performance.

Sustainable performance* means to perform in a sustainable way over a longer period of time. To be able to do this we need to deepen our own practice in self-care and self-knowledge to ground ourselves in our own values and believes.

Before internet you just had that obnoxious friend who always told you what was right and wrong and gave you advices that you didn’t ask for. Today we get these un-asked advises through strangers’ feeds at Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram… everywhere on internet. This in combination with the huge amount of information about death, crises, violence and dualistic thinking in mainstream media. In this constant changing world self-knowledge is crucial for well-being and long-lasting, nice performance.

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The foundation for sustainable performance and self-knowledge is insight. To gain insight you need to create space for yourself – both mentally, spiritually and environment-wise.
Insight is a way of increasing your self-knowledge – how you act, speak and to know your habits. Insight is the opening door to this, but since many individuals over-activate themselves, they have lost the knob.

Insight is about greater awareness; to point a torch on thoughts, actions and habits that you normally don´t notice. Bring them into the spotlight!

One thing which is very good to ask yourself is how your energy balance is in life. (Don´t miss the article about Energy balancing – sign up for my newsletter to the right.).

Give yourself space

So how do you gain insight? There are of course many ways, but in this article, I give you one model. This one is very good since you can do it during a longer time (like 30 minutes) or you can do it for 3 minutes at work between meetings, before lunchtime or when going to the bathroom. The shorter ones can be used to reflect upon habits near the present moment: how did the morning feel? How did I energy balance during this meeting (did I listen to others? Did I feel stressed and frustrated?)?

The 3 “simple” steps are:

Stopping means stopping with all activities and directing your attention to yourself. Since we are different some people want to sit in a calm place, close their eyes and others can easily to let go of everything around them. For everyone – stopping means stopping with activities stimulating our intellectual, logic senses and thoughts.

A powerful way, that I recommend, is to focus on your breath. A week ago, I did this during a seminar I held for 100 engineers and I said “close your eyes and count 10 breaths”. After a while I had to ask some of them if they were ready. They were in love with the tranquillity – a vacation from all demands and thinking. Wonderful! Anyhow – stop and focusing on your breath is a way of letting thoughts glide away and get a clearer mind, which in many cases is the base for insight. (Don´t miss the article “Insight will not grow out of stress” – sign up for my newsletter to the right.)

Now, listen to your body and mind; how does the body and pulse feel? Do you breathe in a relaxed way or stressed? Do you have a feeling of wanting to get going… is something indefinitely pushing you in to the future or do you enjoy the stopping?
To listen means to notice how you feel and what you need. And to act upon that is one tool for sustainable performance.

Good luck!

*sustainable performance can include many things depending on the context.