Work belongs to one of the most important preconditions for individual self-fulfillment in the people’s life. Our occupation and career are inextricably linked to our self-awareness as a significant member of society. The psychologists affirm that this significance is the core need for people to feel full-fledged and happy. Indeed, how many times a life we ask ourselves “who we are?” and “what is our social value?” Not once, is not it? Moreover, day by day we make tremendous efforts to get an incredibly satisfactory answer to them one day in future.
One can say that it is the only right way to live a decent life and it sounds a rather convincing. However, there are other questions we should answer honestly “do we have a life beyond our office?” and “how much time do we spend with our families?” We can bet that you would not be able to remark the border between these two spheres of your life and when you succeed in this the answer will unlikely be in favor of family. It was not because you were so bad family man but, most likely, you became the hostage of a crazy workaholic century as many others.
The essence of the problem and how to leave work at the office
Nowadays high rates of business activity, fast technological progress, and ruthless competition on labor markets create numerous challenges for working people. Employee’s circle of tasks becomes much broader alongside with rising their complicatedness. To save the workplace and succeed in completing all official obligations the person should meet the new requirements of the century. Such high standards and dynamic surrounding cause informational and emotional overloading of the employee.
People suffer from a permanent excessive business. Just before solving one issue they start thinking about the other working problem and continue to keep it in the mind even when working hours end. They should be in touch almost 24 hours a day (it is possible thanks to the latest technological inventions). Thus, even when people are at home (in transport, guests or even resort) they anyhow continue working. Of course, it happens at the expense of family time.
The problem of work-life balance is especially urgent for the work-life leaders and the working women.
Therefore, it has little different hues for these two main categories. The business leaders have a great responsibility for numerous areas of activity and the endless list of tasks which could not be left without their individual contribution or control. Such situation makes them work at the home time. If speaking about women, the issue sounds like a need to be present in two places at the same time. A wide range of obligations on house holding, caring children or aged parents are only a few reasons for this. Thus, both are under constant pressure.
Is it normal? We say, no. Doctors and psychologists have the same thought and propose the convincing arguments to demonstrate a danger of taking the work at home:
- persons who work many hours a day show higher rate of mortality than those who have limited working day (20%);
- employees who work without vacation more often suffer from heart attacks (30 to 50% more cases than among those who takes vacation);
- women who have no time off work suffer from depression more often than those who have an opportunity to devote more time for family;
- permanent overload with work and emotional pressure cause burnout and chronic stress in all categories of employees;
- lack of time for family causes or deepen the family crisis;
- constant involvement in solving work issues dissipates people’s concentration and, thus, lowers the level of personal and social safety. Staring down at a phone (or being with the head in the clouds) while you are cross-walking can have the fatal outcomes; equally dangerous is being distracted when driving a car.
You can see it is crucial to set your individual boundaries to ensure maintaining your healthy work-life balance. However, it is a question how to do this. We have a few recommendations which can help you to get freedom from “business chains” and gain more place for your private life.
How to leave work at the office?
- Effective planning.
Did you notice how your time goes into nowhere without any results but you work permanently and feel incredible fatigue? It is the first attribute of imperfect time management. There so much to do and you never know you have done enough for today. Without a plan, you tend to grab for everything and at once. Apparently, it causes chaotic actions and enhances the emotional tension. Planning a day, you get a strategy of your acts, your mind becomes clear, you know the point when you can stop working today and, what is more meaningful, you receive more satisfaction when all pre-scheduled businesses are completed. Thus, effective planning not only structures your work properly but also promotes your high-quality leisure and emotional health (besides the cases you overestimate your abilities and plan much more than can be done)
- Delegating authority and responsibility to the others.
The thought that nobody can do better than you is a rather widespread among people. Even when we can entrust one or a few tasks for somebody else we do not use this opportunity or try to control everything. Remember, you are not the corner of the Universe. Do not worry, we are far from undermining your skills and abilities, but you should give a chance for your colleagues to show yourself, especially if you are the boss. Professional freedom will promote higher responsibility of the staff and increase productivity.
- Determining your priorities.
This point has equal concern both the prioritizing of work tasks and choosing what is more important for you at any given moment: work or family. The first one was consonant with effective planning we reviewed above. Choosing between work and family is a more complicated issue to solve; especially for women who often take over the men’s family functions. Indeed, day by day the solution becomes closer because of new work tendencies. Considering the dynamic business environment and its crucial challenges to the employee, the companies today are more open to flexible work schedule.
Thus, at any moment you can ask for a part-time or freelancers work without hesitation. Determine your priorities and choose an individual schedule which will work the best for you. It provides the opportunity to be at home more and work efficiently at the same time. If your company does not go along with time, change your workplace without hesitation (it concerns to those for whom the family and health are primary life priorities).
- Switching off your gadgets when the work time ends.
At the times when we had no modern high-tech devices people also worked and worked effectively. Whatever happens during nonworking hours, it could wait for the solution till the next morning. What had changed? Nothing, besides having phones and human habit to react on the messages immediately. Adopt the decision not to answer on call, emails, skype, and phone message in your work out time. Allow your mind be there where is your physical body is. It will be complicated, but after a certain period, it becomes your good habit. Moreover, the other will know that you are switched off in the nonworking hours. The number of messages will significantly decrease, and you feel incredible relief.
The Strange point, isn’t it? However, it is one of the most meaningful. The psychologists say that our being “crazy busy” exists only in our mind. Excessive devotion to the work may be just attempting to compensate gaps in the other areas of your life or prove something to the others. You should hold a serious and sincere “conversation” with your internal “I.” It will help to find the psychological preconditions making you hide from the whole world behind your business. Note, escaping do not solve the problems but deepen them causing tremendous results.
And the last thing! Remember, the times when the professionals depended on the employer are gone a long time ago. Today the companies’ success is in the hands of high-qualified staff. Because of this, the only thing you should do – improve your qualification and set individual boundaries which will work for your good. Believe us, it is the only right way to healthy work-life balance allowing you to be a successful and happy person.