by Niki Tudge
The signs of work and personal time imbalance are unmistakable. Every day we hear of people in our industry suffering from poor health, burnout and stress. If you recognize the signs of imbalance in your own life, then you need to take action immediately and focus on achieving a more balanced approach.
Work-life Imbalance can promote poor health and over time this can lead to devastating, and possibly life changing consequences.
Imbalance and The Effects On Our Health:
- Obesity: Not taking the time to exercise or eat well can increase obesity which is connected to heart disease and numerous other health risks.
- Exhaustion: Sleeping well can add years to your life. Sacrificing sleep for work will have negative effects on health and increase your chances of getting sick.
- Emotional problems: Stress and exhaustion will create havoc on your emotional well-being. In the long term this will affect your relationships and personal identity.
Let us all take a lesson from the large companies that are now taking an interest in the health and fitness of their employees. It is in your best interests do so. If you become healthier you will be more productive, have less stress and be happier.
What is Burnout?
Most people know that being overworked eventually causes burnout. Burnout is the physical and psychological response to long-term stress.
The Signs of Burnout:
- Loss of interest: If you are burned-out then you lose interest in your work.
- Lack of emotion:Your emotional responses will be abnormal when you are burned-out.
- Loss of motivation: Your former motivators will no longer be effective.
- Possible depression:Burnout is very closely linked to depression
What is Stress?
For most of us work is the main source of our stress. According to the research published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine “the stress connection to obesity for workers in sedentary jobs is more significant than diet”. The effects that stress has on the heart health can be deadly.
Four Signs of Stress:
- Overemotional: People under stress can find it difficult to control their emotions.
- Lethargy: The physiological impact of stress can cause lethargy.
- Restlessness:Stress can make it difficult to focus, causing hyperactivity and restlessness.
- Anxiety:Prolonged stress can cause anxiety disorders.
So how do we get more balance? Most people complain that they cannot balance their work and personal life because they simply do not have enough time. However, the truth is that most people do not know how to manage time wisely. Time management is crucial to an effective work-life balance. Effectively implementing time management techniques will reduce your stress and help bring balance to your life both in and out of the office.
Here are three tips that will help you become more productive immediately and this will help you develop or maintain a more balanced life.
- Say NO.One of the most important skills to learn is the power of NO. Effectively managing your time requires that you learn to say “no” sometimes. This may seem cruel but it’s just not possible to meet everyone else’s needs. You must learn to say “no”, kindly but firmly. Do not allow people to talk you into urgent tasks because they do not plan well. You know the saying, “your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency for me”
- Understand Urgent versus Important.Once you have developed good planning and scheduling habits then stick to them unless there is an emergency. Remember important is not urgent! Many people confuse urgent with important. Urgent tasks do need to be done quickly, but that does not make them important. We often get stuck completing urgent tasks at the expense of the important ones. The Important tasks are the ones that help us meet deadlines and achieve our goals. If you learn the difference between urgent and important you will create more time and have more structure in your day.
- Be Flexible.Flexibility is an important skill. You cannot always predict your life. If you are inflexible then you are more likely to fall to pieces when change occurs that is beyond your control. Being flexible simply means that you are not resisting the inevitable changes of life. Flexibility is not passivity. Flexibility means being able to embrace change. This will reduce your stress and improve your work life balance.
Investing in your own development can also help. If you recognize that time management is a problem for you then consider taking a time management course. Click here to learn more