We are a growing nation of workaholics; well that’s what the stats say at least. Research from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) reveals one in eight UK employees works more than 48 hours per week. Further research from the BBC suggests that more than 54% of British employees regularly work through their lunch break!
How can you work smarter and break free from eating ‘al desko’ every day?
What’s the impact on your health?
Workaholism can cause some worrying mental health implications such as ADHD, OCD, anxiety and depression, said a recent study by the University of Bergen in Norway. After analysing 16,426 workers, their study showed 32.7% of overall workaholics met the ADHD criteria, while 25.6% met the OCD criteria, 33.8% met the anxiety criteria, and 8.9% met the depression criteria.
Delegate, delegate, delegate
As much as people like to feel they’re on top of everything, we are just humans after all. Many colleagues feel afraid to delegate in case other co-workers don’t step up to the plate with the same level of results like they do. But experts have recommended delegating to colleagues who can perform these tasks at least 70% as well as you can. If delegation is done well it won’t lose you your job – it’ll keep you in the role for taking initiative and developing other team members, rather than being fired for producing poor work through overload!
Big talk with the boss
Having a heart-to-heart with the boss about your workload can appear like an admission of failure, but if you take the right approach, it can come across like you’re managing your own personal productivity. Explain that you’re overloaded with work and need to bring it to a manageable level, and suggest any of the following:
• Hire an intern or freelancer
• Work from home to focus on work projects
• Delegating some of your work to an able colleague
• Extending the deadline on projects
Take care of your health
As productivity and happiness ‘guru’ Gretchen Rubin says, ‘to get the best from yourself, you have to give the best to yourself’. Making simple but significant changes to your personal health can boost your overall vitality and productivity in the workplace.
Exercising before or during work at least 3 times a week can boost energy levels and mental concentration, as can hitting your 8-hour sleep target. Swapping junk food for fresh-cooked meals will keep your mental endurance lasting throughout the day!
Work smarter, play harder
A hectic schedule reflects how efficiently your methods and processes are working to achieve your daily goals. Look out for techniques and ‘hacks’ to improve how you do things, and think about whether multi or single-tasking works better for you. You may be surprised by just how much time and energy you can spend on things outside of the office!