We used to value money and success, now we also value what Ariana Huffington describes as the third metric, our wellbeing. How important is it these days to ensure we’re putting our wellbeing right up there with our career ambitions? What are your thoughts on working a 70 hour week for example, that’s hardly productive or beneficial for anybody, both business and person, right?
Ariana Huffington made this statement after she fell down her stairs breaking her cheek bone & had to get 4 stitches under her eye. She puts her fall down to exhaustion, lack of sleep, burnout and her over focus on work and lack of focus on her mental wealth.
Our wellbeing or our mental wealth is hugely important and without living our lives while we work, our health will suffer. The old proverb ‘All work & no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is true. It is now easier to work 24/7 than ever with access to our emails, work accounts and cloud drives from every conceivable location on earth we have to make a conscious decision to stop ourselves.
Can you say you are working in a job that genuinely makes you happy, that you find the very long hours professionally rewarding, that you feel confident in your ability to do your job, that you enjoy going to work and that you feel a daily sense of accomplishment. While you also find the time to enjoy your hobbies and interests, spend time with your family and friends, take time to yourself and go on holidays? If can answer yes to these questions you are lucky as you are living in a career you love.
If not then it is time you begin to design your own version of success. No organisation that is a great place to work wants to see their staff work 70 – 80 hour weeks. While there might be busy times when you do longer hours, you generally get your work done within regular office hours. If not it’s time to talk to your manager about the hours you are working and try to find a solution. Think of a solution before you go to your boss, perhaps you work better when the office is quite and before the phone starts to ring, maybe you could ask to work flexi-time or discuss beginning your work day at home where you are more productive.
Just like Ariana Huffington who made small changes one step at a time, set yourself three targets to rebuild your mental wealth.
1. Maybe you need to get 2 hours more sleep at night, start by going to bed 30 minutes earlier for one week, increase it by 30 minutes each week until you are getting 7 – 8 hours’ sleep per night.
2. Take time for 40 minutes exercise 4 times a week. You can do this by getting off the bus 2 stops earlier on your way home in the evening or going for a walk at lunch time. Maybe you might decide that you are going to take your bike to work or that you will walk to crèche to pick your children up after work.
3. Take a digital rest at night!! Sundown for all things digital!! This means you need to turn off your tablet, laptop and phone about 45 minutes before you go to bed. Massage some This Works Sleep Balm into your feet and put on some warm socks. The balm and the warmth of your socks release sleepy hormones that send a signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.
If these strategies just don’t get you back on track and you are beginning to really feel exhausted perhaps it is time to take a few days off and begin the process of looking for another job. Maybe you just need to move job and start afresh?
BY Sinead Brady