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Less worry, more sleep

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They say money makes the world go round and because of this, a lot of people would rather work odd hours so that they can make ends meet, than take off days and relax.

Sleep is a condition of body and mind, which typically recurs for several hours, in which the nervous system is inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed and consciousness practically suspended. A lot of people associate sleep with laziness and lack of ambition and drive, but that is not always the case. Yes, oversleeping has its own effects, which are not quite good, but there is a difference between oversleeping and giving your body and mind the rest that they deserve to fully function well.

It is said that an adult should have about seven to eight hours of sleep and anything less than that is what is called sleep deprivation, which can be either acute or chronic. Sleep deprivation is the condition of not having enough sleep.

As a leader, you should encourage employees to get as much sleep as possible. Everyday there seems to be twice as much work and half the time to complete it, and it is very tempting to want to see the work done and dusted but it would not really be wise to make employees work odd hours just so the company can meet deadlines and targets because when employees are deprived of sleep, it will negatively impact their performance at work.

Your employees will be there ‘working’ but there will be no results to show. This is not because they are not capable or anything, but their body and mind will not be in sync, so concentration is bound to lack. Sleep deprivation can impair cognitive skills. If your employees are sleep deprived, creativity and good decision-making will be close to extinct which can cause company growth to be stagnant. It is highly likely for prolonged sleep deprivation to cause health issues and when employees are constantly ill, they are less likely to be engaged at work and would most probably require sick offs.

This will cause absenteeism to skyrocket and will cause efficiency and productivity to hit rock bottom. A lot of us can attest to the fact that fatigue makes a person irritable and grumpy and when you are fatigued, everything seems to be going left. There is no way an employee can be fatigued and produce good results.

Quality sleep can help employees to focus and gives them the ability to learn and retain new information. The workplace will be filled with happy workforce and a happy and alert workforce is sure to bear good fruit. Some companies allow employees to nap after lunch, and according to research, it is said that a ‘20-minutes’ nap (power nap) can make a person effective and alert for at least two and half hours. We are no longer in the days when napping at the workplace was seen as being unproductive.

We didn’t fully understand the side effects that fatigue can have on an individual and his or her performance, both in the workplace and at home. It is now time to change that culture and not see being ‘well rested’ as ‘lazy’. Ensure that employees are not being overworked by balancing the workload you give to them, offer flexible work schedules and do not make napping at work during breaks seem like a taboo. Embrace sleep and prosper.

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Business

‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’

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Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.

She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.

“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.

She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.

She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala

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MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.

Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.

“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.

The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.

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