“You’re such a workaholic” — Many times, that phrase sounds like a compliment or sometimes synonymous with a hard worker. But unfortunately, a workaholic means working hard compulsively for excess hours. Most workaholics work during breaks and sacrifice the pleasures of a vacation or hobby for work. So, it doesn’t sound much like a compliment anymore, right?
Workaholics typically burn out or overwork. In addition, it affects their overall health as many cannot eat well or maintain a good sleep schedule. The good news is you don’t need to be a workaholic for 100 percent productivity.
Keep reading to learn more about productivity without burning out.
Productivity and overworking are two different terms. The latter leads to burnout, while the first doesn’t affect overall well-being. Burnout has lots of adverse health effects, including exhaustion and frequent sickness. In addition, due to bad work habits, people can’t fulfill personal obligations.
In extreme cases, overworking may also cause symptoms of anxiety and depression. For that reason, many detach further from others become irritable and pessimistic. Falling sick due to overworking occurs due to a weak immune system from poor sleep and loss of appetite.
Productivity reduces when a person overworks. People who overwork are more error-prone, easily agitated, and fall ill. Habits like eating more or eating less, sleeping less ultimately lead to burnout.
When feeling overworked, there are helpful steps you can take to remain productive and avoid burnout. Here’s what to do:
Designate “Deep Work” Sessions
In deep work sessions, individuals focus on pushing their cognitive limits. As a result, they can improve their skill, create value, and become more productive with those efforts. The concept of deep work was from Cal Newport, an author and Georgetown University computer science professor.
When designating deep work sessions, choosing a suitable strategy is essential. A common technique is “The Rhythmic Philosophy of Deep Work Scheduling.” You divide your day into deep work and shallow work in that method.
During the deep work sessions, you should sustain focus for one or two hours at a time. You can afford to spend less time on a task for shallow work before taking a break.
Working in the same environment for an extended period is a potential stressor. Productivity may be more difficult when you remain in a high-pressure environment. Try going outside your typical workspace to a coffee shop, then get back to work.
Wear Different Clothes
Consider wearing different clothes that are comfortable and inspire one to work simultaneously. Get into the typical clothes you may wear when going to the office. Avoid getting into clothes that make you feel stiff, especially suits and similar wears.
You can wear shirts, trousers, skirts, use your prescription sunglasses lenses, or get into a comfortable pair of shoes. The idea is to make yourself feel like you’re in the office while at home.
Balance Work and Personal Life
Developing a work-life balance is an intentional effort. It doesn’t involve logically splitting your time 50/50 between work and your life. Instead, it involves feeling fulfilled and content in both areas. So, for instance, you can meet work deadlines while having friends and hobbies.
Good work and life balance also involve having enough sleep and eating well while remaining productive. If there’s no work-life balance, you need to reprioritize and make necessary changes.
Take Multiple and Well-Timed Breaks
Since the brain needs time to recharge, consider taking well-timed breaks after intense mental activity. One of the most helpful techniques for working and structuring breaks is the Pomodoro method.
In the Pomodoro method, you focus squarely on work for a significant period and take a short break between each cycle. For instance, you can work for 25 minutes and take a 5 minutes break. Then, after the fourth cycle of work, you can take a 10-minute long break and continue.
Make a Daily or Weekly Work Schedule
Create daily and weekly work targets, but ensure that you don’t exceed those set schedules. With reasonable work schedules, you can reduce lots of stress in your life since they prevent scheduling problems. With daily and weekly work schedules, you can bring your work to a specific limit and meet that set limit.
Note that it’s imperative to ensure work hours don’t eat into the personal time when creating a work schedule.
Work Hard, Not Compulsively
A compulsive worker is not a hard worker! You can be productive without engaging in harmful or compulsive acts. As much as you need to work, you also need quality time to stay productive for yourself and your family. Overworking doesn’t always yield productivity. Instead, it causes poor results in many cases.