Efficiency and productivity are holy words in modern business. And although this concept looks good in theory, in reality it just leads to stress and dissatisfaction – the exact opposite of what you should be getting from your career. The problem is that people no longer know how to balance their work and personal lives correctly, and this is starting to impact their health and wellbeing.
In this post, I’ll talk about some of the main issues people run into when trying to balance their careers with their leisure time and how to solve them.
Being a perfectionist leads to excellent results in the workplace, but it can also be a source of unbelievable stress. It’s important to be able to stop yourself when the project you’re working on doesn’t require any further improvement. Most overachievers develop perfectionist habits at a young age and carry them over into their adult lives when it becomes much harder to stick to them. A mature person knows when it’s time to let go and when to follow their task through to the end. Both are necessary if you want to have a good work-life balance.
Thanks to technology it is very easy to be available to your clients 24/7. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be. Doing so will create unrealistic expectations of availability, so your clients will get frustrated when they don’t receive a response from you in under ten minutes. To have a healthy work-life balance, you have to decide when work ends and leisure time begins. Don’t answer your business e-mails when you aren’t at work unless it’s absolutely necessary. You don’t have to reply to your colleague’s text in the middle of a movie or an exercise session. Respond only to emergencies, anything else can wait until you’re in the office the next day.
3. Time Management
The more efficient you are during your working hours, the more free time you’re going to have. Distractions are a big problem for anyone that uses a computer for their work, and one efficient trick for increasing your productivity is tracking your time. Using a time tracking app can help you realise what percentage of your working hours you actually spend being productive. Additionally, the psychological factor of working against a timer can also help you become more efficient and less inclined to waste your time on YouTube and social media.
4. A Fulfilling Career
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” is a popular saying by one of the greatest Eastern philosophers, Confucius. This small piece of ancient wisdom is perfectly applicable to the modern business world. A job that you hate will be a much bigger source of stress than a job you love. If you treat your work like your enemy, every small setback is going to seem like the end of the world. Of course, finding a job that you enjoy and that can pay the bills is sometimes difficult, but it is definitely something that you should gravitate toward.
Exercise is one of the primary biological requirements of any human being. It’s also the one most of us tend to neglect. No matter how hectic your day is, it’s worth it to take at least twenty minutes out of your day for a short, basic workout. You don’t have to do anything super straining – some simple pushups, situps or a simple jog can make all the difference. Exercise is a potent stress reliever, and being in good physical condition can help your mind stay sharp as well, according to various studies.
No matter how important your career is to you, the truth is that it is just a job. Stop answering e-mails at 3am, find time to exercise and commit to a hobby outside of work. Most importantly, give up on fanatical perfectionism for your own good. Chronic stress is linked to some of the most serious diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, so think twice about your health before you commit to a 15-hour workday.