A few weeks ago, I was on a quick wildlife safari in the forests of Bandipur with my close friend and business partner Shalini Sethi.
The long road trip from Bangalore, overnight stay at the modest forest resort, the safaris over rain-soaked, bumpy mud tracks and the fierce downpour, the sleep deprivation and the physical fatigue all faded away at the sight of the lush green foliage and the spectacular fauna!
And it was not just the sighting of the big cat, but also the bashful and coy looks of the lady bison as she posed, the furtive meandering of the striped necked mongoose, the rare appearances of the sloth bear and the perched peacocks who fastidiously avoided getting their feet muddied and wet, that showed us how the self-same animals behave in their natural habitats, unhampered by the few humans who foolishly braved the monsoon.
And it was then that I had my “Aha” moment – people who work long hours without breaks are not physically tired. In fact, the break that we took should have made us more fatigued and unable to get back to work if that were the case.
Instead with excessive and incessant toil it is the mind that gets so tired that people are spaced out, unable to focus, leading to costly errors, and any break at that time only leaves them unable to do anything but “rest”. When after that they return to work, the body may possibly have recouped, so for some time they are able to get back to physically putting in the excessive hours.
However, over the years we are increasingly trapped in our Catch 22 cycle as we hurtle towards an inevitable burnout!
Hence I would call out to the employed and employer fraternity to take cognizance before it is too late and focus on rejuvenation of the mind instead of the body! This is the only way we can get quality contribution from the workforce while also ensuring that they, in turn, can bring in longevity into their career, while also enjoying a healthy work-life balance!
Too utopian you feel? Check out the pictures from my recent sojourn and honestly question if this not tug at your heart!