Are you Jack? We have to rethink our approach to work if we want good health.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This saying first appeared in James Howell’s Proverbs in 1659. Dull means bored or boring – neither are traits that we would wish to have attributed to us, but if we spend ever longer hours at work, this proverb probably defines what will happen to us.
We must rethink our approach to how much time we spend working. The method of long hours and low productivity is wrong, not only for our businesses but also for ourselves and our famillies.
But what this may miss, is that not only will we become bored or boring, our health will begin to suffer and our relationships will breakdown, thereby losing the support of family and friends. We cannot truly relax if we are constantly fixated on our work and if you bring this fixation into a non-work environment it will impact negatively, not only on you, but on those around you – who, strangely, will have little or no interest whatsoever in what you do at work.
The advent of communication devices and the world wide web has made it possible for us to be “at work” all the time, meaning that we get little time for ourselves, our family and our friends. The impact that this has on our health is huge. A recent article spoke about what happens to our bodies when we work more than 40 hours in a week:
- Your risk of stroke increases by 29% when you work more than 40 hours for at least 50 weeks
- Blue light from devices can speed up macular degeneration
- Blurred vision and irritated eyes arise from too much screen time
- Poor sleep can be the result from overwork – this comes with the significant harm to our health a lack of sleep is known to bring.
- There is a loss of productivity – meaning more time at work!
So what is the answer?
First we have to assess why we are working such long hours: what are we actually doing and when?
We have to ask ourselves: is this really necessary? If it isn’t necessary, don’t do it!
Like everything in our lives if we want to do something well we have to have some order to it, we have to know what we have to do and when by. If we approach work with a lackadaisical attitude it will not be a surprise that we do things very slowly, therefor spending even larger amounts of time working.
With modern technology we must be strict with ourselves, online newspaper subscriptions, linkedin and other social media sites are all very interesting but do we have to spend so much time reading them.
Our email inboxes can frustrate our time, it seems that we have to clear out another few hundred unwanted emails every day. To start with delete those emails that you save in your inbox just because you might read them later – believe me you won’t and decluttering the emails will work wonders on your productivity.
This can all sound like good time management, yes it is, but it is so much more. This is about our approach to our work, our interests and our passions. If we can be so easily distracted from our work, should we be doing this job in the first place? This may sound perverse but are we spending so much time at work because we don’t like doing what we do anymore?
If you don’t manage your time at work and if you don’t see the need to spend time with your family and friends then you are Jack.