A well known Italian humanist and educator Aldus Manutius has quoted, “It is not work that kills; but no work and overwork.” The concept behind overwork is more completion of tasks in less time. Today’s digital world demands productivity, creativity and outcomes in a short span of time. Due to these requirements, dedication of 9 hours seems insufficient. An individual is required to invest working as well as non-working hours. Technology has made it possible for employees to remain available through emails, chats, phone and video calls. You name it and the technology will deliver the required service to you.
Scientifically speaking, gray matter is responsible for execution of functions, sensory and motor reflexes along with emotional development. This task is governed by channeling a network of neurons.
Exhaustion, stress and high levels of anxiety are the byproducts of overwork. In order to be a part of the rat race, one is overworking to the point of exhaustion that entire store of energy is depleted. Erin Wildermuth recommends, “Taking time to revamp, refresh, and relax is just as important to success as a motivated work ethic.”
Following mentioned rationales are based on observational research.
1. Inaccuracy in tasks results in fatal errors
Every profession has its pitfalls and risks. For example, an exhausted staff of a hospital can prove to be dangerous for the under treatment patients. If an over worked surgeon commits a mistake while operating on a patient, the results can prove to be deadly. Similarly, while administrating a dose of injection, an over exhausted nurse is bound to lose her focus resulting from administration of excess or low doses of injection.
There is a direct connection between excessive work and hospital related errors that could result in risking lives. Hence, to avoid such life-threatening errors, the administration departments of various hospitals have now structured plans for the allotment of duty hours to doctors and nurses which are no more than 8 productive hours. After completion of a night shift, the next day is given an off. This duty maintenance plans have resulted in teaming up of highly efficient and productive working staff.
Therefore, one must concentrate on delivering quality work than quantity. Ultimately, quality will beat quantity.
2. Incompetence & non-productiveness
In addition to causing errors due to overburden, the ability to deliver expected results also suffers. In a relaxed state of mind, one has the freedom to think clearly, execute difficult plans and deliver accurate results in comparison to an over burdened brain.
In order to avoid this, an individual can plan his following day ahead. Beginning from completing his personal chores to professional commitments and meetings, every task can be mapped out. He should know which task is coming next and where does it fit in the priority list. Planning must include prioritization of tasks, allotment of time for fulfilling them and timely breaks after every 2 hours for 15 mins.
As soon as the mind relaxes, over exhaustion simmers down and the focus is returned. Therefore, one should devise a routine of planning the following day.
3. Health is Wealth
Continuous stress and anxiety has the power to weaken the immune and mental status of an individual. This could hamper the health in a long run.
Diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes are becoming a growing concern among the career driven working population. A person has formed a mentality that investment of more hours will yield accurate results. However, one tends to forget that too much work without breaks for relaxation and leisure time will ultimately affect one’s health.
There must be a specific time, which is dedicated for breaks. During this time, the person should learn to unwind, take a power nap or involve oneself in activities that takes the focus away from work. Yoga, exercise and meditation have proven to be highly beneficial for not only working population, but also for housewives and older age group individuals.
Devotion of time for physical and mental relaxation will prove to be advantageous in the long run. Sound body, mind and soul will enable a person to give his/her 100% without investing additional hours.
4. Leading the team from the front
Guiding a pack of team effortlessly requires several skills and qualities. Imbibing and following them by heart requires complete devotion and dedication. Leaders are expected to conduct team meetings, discussion sessions, appointment with various clients, problem solving etc.
This requires focus, stamina and a positive attitude that can fulfill the duties during the working hours. A stressed out leader can react in a negative way with the employees during problem solving tasks causing an imbalance in their rapport.
Therefore, it becomes a mandatory task for leaders to take timely breaks during the working hours. This will aid in maintaining their focus, energy levels and stress free mind.
To summarize the above rationales meant for avoiding over stressing and burdensome work environment, an individual must learn the art of rewinding and relaxing. Leisure time for oneself is very important in keeping one’s sanity. The key to remain stress free may involve taking long walks, tea breaks or friendly chats. This calms the overworked, stressed out and exhausted neuronal network of the gray matter. So break the habits of excessive work and take breaks from time to time.