A recent survey by CareerBurner revealed that between 25% and 50% of people report feeling overwhelmed at work. Are you one of them?
We are working more hours than ever but we are also juggling our tasks like never before. Technology has blurred all the stopping points and finish lines. Thanks to our digital devices, wherever we go our work follows.
If you’re anything like me you’ve checked your inbox while on a conference call, you’ve sent an email from the playground, you’ve eaten lunch at your desk.
While it might feel like working all hours will lead to bigger rewards that’s not necessarily the case. If you are partially engaged in multiple activities you’re rarely fully engaged in one. And when you switch away from your task to do something else, you’re increasing the overall time it takes to do that task by an average of 25%.
Most importantly for us as women, if we’re always doing something, we’re relentlessly burning down our available energy over the course of every day, so we have less available with every passing hour.
Consider these three behaviours for yourself:
- Do the most important things first in the morning, without interruption, for 60 to 90 minutes, with a clear start and stop time. Resist every impulse to distraction, knowing that you have a designated stopping point.
- Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically. During this time ignore everything immediate and urgent.
- Take real and regular breaks. Whether that is an hour in the middle of a “work day” or a week long holiday. Real means that when you’re off, you’re truly disconnecting from work. The research strongly suggests that you’ll be far healthier and more productive overall.
A single principle lies at the heart of all these suggestions. When you’re engaged at work, fully engage, for defined periods of time. When you’re renewing, truly renew. Stop living your life somewhere between the two.
How is your work/life balance? Do you have some wisdom to share? Leave your ideas in the comments…
Dr Joanna Martin: Founder, oneofmany.co.uk.| Author| Women’s Speaker| Entrepreneur| Ex-doctor| Loud Sister| Baby Wrangler = No professional training but do a fine job nonetheless!