In recent times you must have come across a few or more people who brag about insane schedules. It’s gradually become a thing of pride, or maybe we have been trained to “work hard”. We have been trained to stay late hours and barely have a life.
I won’t deny it, sometime in the past, I had no life. It was from work to my house and the same old mundane schedule. I had no life!
In fact, I had a chat with my manager recently and I was narrating to her how my previous schedule was and she blatantly told me;
“Jeez Zinny, you had no life!”, because the truth is that I didn’t. I talked about it here.
It’s one thing to have a job that sucks away your spare time and it’s another thing to take pride in it and claim to love your job. It’s an entirely different thing to have a job that deprives you of so much, and yet you still fail to find ways to have time for yourself or find other passions outside of work.
If you really love your job, don’t you think you would take some time off, so that you don’t make mistakes that would jeopardize your work?
I once talked about how to have your beauty sleep in an article, and it sort of relates to today’s post, except that today’s post goes way beyond just having adequate rest. Click here to read the post for context.
I want to believe that we should work hard enough, but work smarter. Be efficient. Every minute of our lives count and you can’t waste it all spending long hours when it’s not relevant. You may not need to prove any point to your manager or employer. What you need to do is to be effective in handling your duties.
This is where working as a team comes in. If you have so much work to do, why not talk to your colleagues and find out better ways to resolve the issue. Do you think you should always be the one to leave the office last? Is it really worth it?
If you think hard work pays better, I am sure people who work at jobs that require a lot of manual effort would think otherwise. If it takes a lot of physical effort, I believe they would go with the idea of working smart. So, construction workers will definitely opt to use an excavator rather than make use of a shovel to dig. That is simply the whole idea of working smart.
While it may be a myth to maintain a work-life balance, we already talked about things you can do to achieve work-life balance, and what needs to be added is how to avoid being the hardest worker in the room! Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to be lazy, but cut you some slack. You deserve it.
Know when to stop, take a break.
You have worked to an extent and it’s past your close hour, now is the time to pack up and go home to rest. Arriving to work early enough is a good way to help improve productivity in a day. If you are able to arrive early then you may be able to achieve a whole lot before the close of the business day.
Are you really busy, or are you feigning busy?
According to scientists, workaholism has been likened to addiction not necessarily because of the love of the work but more from internal pressure. Is this the case for you? Are you simply failing to work smartly but choosing to work harder because you feel you “love” your job?
If you don’t love your job, but see that you are working hard on the job, what do you have planned out?
Spend time on your hobbies
If you are an ardent reader of this blog, you must have noticed how much I campaign for spending time on hobbies because it’s totally worth it. As much as I use this blog to promote issues related to work, the fact still remains that our jobs affect every other aspect of our lives. Even when you get home, depending on how the day went, you may still have some influence from work.
One positive way to prevent this is to spend time doing what you love to do. It could be as little as spending time with your family. I find that some people have made it a duty to have a hobby or passion outside their job that relaxes them. I have met people who do their regular jobs and make it a duty to volunteer on weekends. Volunteering can be soothing for the soul. If your job takes everything out of you, what do you do outside of your job?
Someone once told me that you should have several sources of income. So what if your hobby eventually starts bringing in some cash? Wouldn’t that be fun? You’d be doing what you love by the side and making money from it.
Bottomline: Don’t spend your entire time working (and time after work, doing work related things). Do other things by the side. Start cycling, join a walk, take a language class, start exercising, blah, blah, blah. Just don’t let your whole world revolve around your job alone, you need a life too!
*As at when I was typing this post, I was simply thinking out loud. I chose to not edit anything, so this post is mainly raw. Tell me what you think? This topic has been on my mind for some time now. What do you think? Hard work, smart work, or maybe both? Should there be boundaries? What do you do outside of your regular job?
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Photos were taken by Allen Obayagbona: @Obaallen