Your work life maybe out of control, but the cat can do as it is told!
Besides, the cat naps all day and you hardly got any sleep last night.
You are not alone, 80% of people cannot cope with work demands, but you can do something about it.
Three recent reports on work life, and time management made the following points:
You need to increase your productivity! (CIPD)
You are at risk of becoming dysfunctional by putting work first.(Harvard Business Review)
You should move to a 6 hour day.(The Independent -Swedish Research)
1. Increase your productivity!
Politicians and even the CIPD ( Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) talk about the UK needing to increase productivity. It wrote
“The UK has now seen seven years of productivity standstill. In fact, output per hour worked is still nearly 2% lower than it was when the recession started in early 2008. This is in part a consequence of much stronger employment growth than anyone would have predicted. However, weak productivity is also the main reason why average hourly earnings are still some 6% lower in real terms than they were in 2008”.
2. Becoming dysfunctional by putting work first.
This is based on work life in the USA, but we often follow suit and I know of some people working 80 hour weeks in the UK.
“Managers routinely overload their subordinates, contact them outside of business hours, and make last-minute requests for additional work. To satisfy those demands, employees arrive early, stay late, pull all-nighters, work weekends, and remain tied to their electronic devices 24/7. And those who are unable—or unwilling—to respond typically get penalized.”
Erin Reid said “How do you deal with a cult of busy?” That’s the term Erin Reid uses to describe today’s work-first culture in which ideal employees are expected to put their jobs first, work all the time and be constantly available to the boss.
Harvard Business Review
3. Move to a 6 hour day.
In Sweden they have been experimenting with a 6 hour day work life. A report in The Independent newspaper showed that Toyota centres in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, made the switch 13 years ago, with the company reporting happier staff, a lower turnover rate, and an increase in profits in that time.
So what do you do?
Well, shouting at the cat can be a sign of stress, according to Steven Aitchison, in his article
5 Warning Signs You May Have Too Much Stress in Your Life so you need to do something.
As can be seen from these articles, increasing productivity does not mean increasing the hours you work. The Swedish research shows it can be the opposite. Even research by Herzberg back in the 1950s, showed that proper breaks during work increased output.
You may not be able to take control at work, but you can start taking control of yourself.
I used to say to my Care Home Manager students, “You cannot take care of others, if you do not take care of yourself.”
If you know more about how you spend your day, you can start to get control of it. By gaining control of your life, you are less likely to shout at the cat.
Increasing productivity does not mean increasing the hours you work, in fact decreasing them could help.
You need a Hard Hat strategy for ensuring your own health and well-being at work.
Even if you cannot control things at work, you can start gaining control of yourself.
To improve your work life you can:
Use this 24 hour activity exercise to find out how your average day works out.
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The 21st Century alternative to Time Management