There’s little wonder as to why so many Americans contend with unmanageable work schedules. After all, U.S. culture celebrates overwork and regards working oneself to exhaustion as a badge of honor. While hard work is certainly a virtue, many employers take this concept to the extreme and inundate employees with unmanageable workloads on a regular basis. Furthermore, completing said workloads on schedule often entails putting in a fair amount of unpaid overtime and sacrificing well-earned leisure time. So, if consistent overwork has become a problem for you, put the following pointers into practice.
Making the Switch to Remote Work
Prior to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses had a negative view of remote work. The way they saw things, employees simply couldn’t maintain high levels of productivity outside of a formal office environment. However, as it turns out, this concern was largely unfounded. Not only did remote work help facilitate increased productivity in many enterprises, most employees preferred working from the safety and comfort of home to reporting to an office – and frankly, it isn’t hard to see why.
As many members of the workforce can attest, going to the office is one of the most stressful aspects of working. More often than not, this entails getting up earlier than you’d prefer, getting dressed up, braving an arduous commute and navigating complicated office politics. Conversely, working from home enables you to get a little more rest, go about your job duties in comfortable attire and avoid intraoffice conflicts and cliques. So, if your employer has extended the option of remote work, you’d be wise to take it. Even if this option hasn’t been formally offered, reach out to the relevant parties if remote work sounds like something you think you’d benefit from.
Setting Clear Boundaries
Clearly defined boundaries are important in every area of life, and work is no exception. If you fail to set boundaries in your place of business, bosses and coworkers are liable to walk all over you. In fairness, if you never speak up for yourself, the people around you are unlikely to realize that you feel overburdened.
For starters, if you feel that you’re being asked to complete a tremendous amount of work within an unreasonable time-frame, make this abundantly clear to the relevant parties. Inform them of how much you work you can comfortably finish within a given workday and request that they adhere to that. Similarly, if any coworkers consistently shirk their duties and leave you to pick up the slack, let them know that you’re responsible for completing your work, not theirs. While there’s a possibility that establishing clear boundaries will rub some of your colleagues the wrong way, failing to do so will result in you taking on more responsibility – and stress – than should reasonably be expected.
Rejecting the Endless Workday
Unless you’re being offered generous overtime pay, you should adhere to set work hours. For many people, leaving the office doesn’t necessarily mean the workday has come to an end. Bringing work home and answering calls and emails well into the evening represents an unwarranted extension of the workday. No one should feel like they’re always at work, and sticking to set work hours can be a great way to draw a clear line between your professional life and your personal one.
Engaging in Relaxing Pastimes
Taking part in relaxing pastimes can help you clear your head and recharge your batteries at the end of a long workday. Meditation, deep breathing exercises and creative outlets are all examples of fulfilling hobbies that are highly conducive to relaxation. Additionally, if you live in a state in which recreational marijuana use is legal, you may want to experiment with strains that are created for stress relief. Washington state residents looking to learn more about various strains should reach out to a good Tacoma dispensary.
A staggering number of Americans contend with unmanageable work schedules. Since many employers won’t hesitate to work employees to the bone – regardless of what effects such treatment has on the well-being of their workforces – maintaining a healthy work/life balance can truly seem arduous. So, if you’re justifiably tired of living to work instead of working to live, there’s no time like the present to start making some changes. Getting your work schedule under control can leave you relaxed, energized and better-equipped to tackle the challenges your job throws at you.