Leisure Time Actually Makes You More Productive 0 219

Leisure Time Actually Makes You More Productive

This post will walk you through few simple but effective productive strategies while having some leisure time. Fifteen to twenty years ago, employees were confined to the four corners of their offices. Things have changed today mainly because of the internet. People nowadays work in the comfort of their own homes. Anyone can submit their work online, share files via cloud sharing, and have online meetings via Skype or other platforms. In short, technology has changed on how people work and where people work.

However, this isn’t purely beneficial to all of us. Because of the change of schedules, some people don’t follow the standard 9-5 work schedule anymore. Now you might receive requests from clients at 10 pm or you might receive messages concerning work at 1 in the morning.

What Happened to our Work Schedules?

Our work schedules have become blurry or clouded in the past couple of years. We used to have regular work schedules but now everyone works at their own pace. It’s hard to figure out your own free time. And now most of us have no time for leisure activities like jogging, going out, reading, playing sports, playing video games. We barely even have free time to spend with our families!

People are becoming busier and busier. Many of us have probably worked overtime or have worked over the weekend just to answer some emails or finish up some unfinished work. It is estimated that about half of working Americans feel that they don’t have free time anymore. But who can blame them when their free time isn’t exactly free? When you use it to catch up with work, then what’s the points of breaks anyway?

Leisure Time is very important

If you sprint for long distances, you’ll eventually tire out. The same principle can be applied to work. If you work during your leisure time, then expect your performance to deteriorate over time. It doesn’t matter if you’re working more hours because you’re eventually going to burn out.

According to the Institute for the Study of Labor, 55 hours of work per week is the threshold on human productivity, any more than that and you’re going to have productivity issues.

Under the field of economics, leisure time is considered a form of commodity.  Leisure time should be spent sleeping, resting, building relationships, exercising, and doing things that give you satisfaction. In short leisure time brings satisfaction, and satisfaction increases productivity levels.

It is very important that workers have their leisure time. During those periods, one can have creative ideas or a flash of insight that can lead to new ways of thinking.  Isaac Newton came up with his concept of gravity when an apple fell on his head during his leisure time. Albert Einstein often came up with new theories and ideas while taking leisurely walks.

Innovative ideas often spring up when we’re taking our breaks. When a person becomes too focused on their work, they get caught up in a stubborn way of thinking. This one-sided way of thinking may get the job done but it’s highly unproductive.

Having your leisure time diffuses you from this one-sided thinking, which allows your brain to function the way it should be.  This will help you open your mind and come up with new solutions to solving your problems.

Things you can do to have a satisfying leisure time

The best thing that you can do is to make your leisure time a way to boost your productivity. So instead of working on your breaks, you utilize your breaks in improving your productivity and efficiency. It may be tempting to answer that email, work on that unfinished project, or to simply get ahead of your workmates. However, you’ll eventually burn yourself out and lose in the long run.  You’re like that guy who sprints in the beginning of a marathon, only to end up losing to the other runners.

Here are some steps to increase your productivity during your leisure time.

  • Plan ahead and schedule your leisure time

You can go plan and make a detailed schedule of when and where you are going to spend your leisure time. You can even use a technique called “time blocking” to help you follow your schedule properly. Time blocking is basically doing your work within a specific time frame.  This way you’ll have more leisure time to spend with friends, family, and for yourself.

When you’re done with the work and scheduled for your break, stop working and take your break. Don’t stress over it, there will always be an abundance of work while leisure time is scarce.

  • Prioritize the most important leisure activities first

Most people watch television, browse the internet, and play video games during their leisure time. Sure, they may be enjoying those activities but on the very next day, they are tired and exhausted? Why is this?

Its simple most of these people have forgotten to sleep, exercise and take care of their bodies. How about getting some sleep before watching TV? Or how about spending time with your kids, your parents, and your friends.

Prioritize your own health and relationships. Sleep and exercise make you healthy, it ensures that you are able to work properly. Relationships help keep you sane and give you a positive mental attitude.

  • Do these things first

Rest, relax and take a good break. Then come back even stronger

A blade needs to be sharpened constantly if you want to keep its edge. The same can be said for us workers. If you keep on working and working and working, you’ll eventually become dull, boring, and unable to do our jobs properly.

You’ll become a zombie, a mindless drone, and a robot that’s incapable of creative thought and innovation.

Yes, there are tons of work and deadlines piled up on your list. However, that doesn’t mean that you should devote your whole life to it. You need to take a break and let your body and mind rest.

Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to leap forward.

Still need to get your work done?  Try these 14 productivity hacks.

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How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity 0 285

How To Work Hard Without Sacrificing Your Sanity

Companies idealize hard work and some even promise that you get compensated well without sacrificing your sanity.  But let’s be honest here, ok.  In the modern world, we know better. Most of us know that a lot of things are fake and that it’s hard to keep it real. In short, it’s hard to be authentic.

We eat more than we need. We buy overpriced coffee because of the brand. We buy cool looking t-shirts that we hardly ever use, and we waste our time watching mindless movies. Society dictates that we must keep a certain image.

Yes, you might be following the trends, but deep inside you feel empty. Deep inside, you feel you are a fraud.

The “more is more” lifestyle

You may be familiar with the “more is more” lifestyle. The more we have the better we are.  We often apply this lifestyle to our work as well. We clock in at the earliest possible time, then we work ourselves to death until we go crazy! In fact, people who sacrifice their lives are often branded as star employees!

I’m not telling you that this lifestyle is bad. In fact, if you keep working like this, you’ll eventually earn more money than your coworkers. However, your coworkers would probably be happier and healthier than you. Is that a good tradeoff?

Well if you don’t like to live like this, then I have good news for you. You can still be a hard worker and keep your sanity. You can work hard all day and do overtime without losing sight of who you are. You can even be successful and still be a nice guy (but that’s for another article).

So what’s your point?

What I’m trying to say here is that you can enjoy work even if you’re constantly on overtime. You don’t have to be fake, you can be who you are.

Of course, you still have to do your job well and impress your boss. Here are some tips and tricks to help maintain your sanity.

  1. Learn when to say “No”

Don’t be a Yes man/ Yes woman. Your friend might ask for help on their project. You really want to help them but you’re also burdened by projects as well. Some people would sacrifice their own time and work to help a friend out. Sure, you’ll be a good friend when you help them out but you’ll probably be reprimanded for not doing your job.

If you sacrifice yourself, then you’re going to miss deadlines and produce shoddy work. You may even lose your job for it!

Don’t be a martyr. Prioritize yourself before helping others. Remember that you can’t really help people out if you can’t even help yourself.

  1. Learn when to say “Yes”

After learning when to say “No”, you have to learn when to say “Yes”. To be more precise, you should know when you should help people out.

When you lend a helping hand, you are providing value to your colleagues. People will rely on you more, and your boss might see potential in you.  If you help people regularly, then you will most likely be put in a leadership role.

That means you’ll be spending more time managing people and less time doing menial labor.

  1. Take small breaks from time to time

Yes, this might seem pretty obvious but you’ll be surprised to see that most people don’t even take breaks when they’re stressed out. This is a recipe for disaster.

If you think that you’ve had enough, then STOP. Don’t think about the consequences, don’t think about your schedule, and don’t think about getting fired. Just STOP. Let go and take a break.

Once you’ve calmed down, then get back to work. You’ll find out that you’re more productive and more likely to get the job done.

  1. Focus

One of the reasons why you’re taking too long would be because you aren’t focused enough. I often waste my time replying to useless email and surfing on the internet. I know that it’s a bad habit but sometimes it helps me think that I’m being productive.

Well, to tell you the truth, I was only using it as an excuse to slack off and not do my job.

If you want to stay as sane as possible, then you have to do your job as quickly as possible.

  1. Be active during meetings

You miss a lot when you’re not paying attention. If you fail to ask questions or be passive during meetings, then things really won’t go your way.

You can express your concerns, your opinions, and even your feelings during meetings. You might not get what you want all the time but there’s a slight chance that you might have your way.

Get out there and be active.

  1. Keep contact with your boss from time to time

Most workers fear their employer. In fact, some employees do whatever they can to avoid talking to their boss.  And when they do meet their boss, they usually nod in affirmation and agree with everything that their boss says. If you’re doing this, then let me tell you one thing. You’re making a huge mistake.

Sure, you’ll feel less awkward and less pressured but you’re also sacrificing your productivity as well. You need to meet regularly with your boss and contact them from time to time. This is very important because you’ll be more informed to get the job done.

You will finish your work faster if you ask for your boss’s opinion and advice. And you will have good relations with your boss as well. Don’t let the fear of interacting with your boss get in the way of your productivity.

Conclusion

Well, those are some tips and tricks to help keep your sanity during work. Going crazy is a big no-no. Sure, it may be hard to keep your sanity if you’re missing tons of deadlines but if you know how to deal with it, then you can minimize the damage.

Remember that these are just tips and tricks. The best way to keep your sanity while working is to prioritize your well-being first. Eat healthily, sleep as much as you can, and exercise regularly.

21 Helpful Productivity Apps for Entrepreneurs.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace 0 326

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Honesty is the best policy is an old but well-known proverb. It certainly is and a lot of people believe it. People will always appreciate the honesty of another.

However, the truth is uncomfortable to talk about, especially when you’re in an office set up. Business relationships are always built in a way where you need to put on a false persona. You need to save face and most of the time you have to hide who you really are.

Many professionals have to put up with this because authenticity in the workplace is something that can’t be easily achieved. No matter what your background is, the cold and honest (ironic huh?) truth remains that you have to hide your real persona.

Being authentic at work might trigger other people. You will be the target of envy, of scorn, and you will be an outcast.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

What now?

So what does freedom in work actually mean? Does it mean having a pantry filled with things that you can eat at your own leisure? Does it mean having a dress code that allows you to come into the office while your favorite hoodie and sweatpants?

This is true for some people but to many others, it means being able to bring out who they truly are without having to fear to be an outcast. It means that’s they can simply be themselves. The question now presents itself, how do we achieve this for everyone?

We are all made up of layers

In this age, if you don’t act like other people or do what other people do, then you are already a target for scorn. Your unique perspective and actions aren’t really accepted by corporations and businesses.

People who come from the LGBTQ+ community or married individuals who choose not to have children may find that even the simplest of questions could open up a hazardous path leading to awkward office conversations. These people may be forced to answer a question that they don’t want to answer.

Questions like “when do you plan on having kids?” or “are you really gay?” are inquiries that people who fall under the spectrum of being ‘different’ have to deal with every day.  And honestly, it can get very tiring after a while.

Even if you aren’t technically hiding your sexual orientation, people will always still want you to magically conform to the norms of society. They may be thinking that asking questions like this might magically make you change your mind on whatever you’ve already set your heart on. To be honest, this never works.

The Global Head of Culture & Inclusion at Twilio, LaFawn Davis says that “We are all intersectional, meaning all have layers with which we identify. There can also be negative and long-term impact on intersectional technologists from expending the energy to determine whether or not all their layers will be welcomed or excluded”

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

The Pressure to Cover

In day to day office conversations, a non-conforming person may find themselves straining their minds. They are always burdened because they are always trying to think of ways to communicate with other co-workers without offending any of them.

An example of this would be, someone who does not have any interest in the importance of marriage or relationships in general. This person would have to find a way to explain that they are not interested in other people without offending the inquirer. In some cases, the non-conformist will have to evade the question altogether.

In tow with evading a conversation, individuals who find themselves in this type of situation commonly resort to talking about another co-worker. Not from ill intent, but from the perspective that this would be the only way to change the topic.

Of course, this is easier said than done. For the non-conformist, it would be hardly able to shake off the innate feeling of wanting to be different. One could not simply toss aside the feeling of being authentic. But, to talk about taboo things in the office would only lead to more complications.

Research shows that the act of ‘covering’, or the act of someone downplaying their differences from the norm actually affects the workforce badly. 3000 employees in over 20 large US firms had a turnout of 61% of employees that had faced implicit pressure to cover up their true selves in some way. While 50% of employees said that the pressure had disappeared because of their commitment to the company.

However, this practice still has a negative effect on people. This practice hinders the performance of the workers, and it could drain the individual in the process. Covering is also seen as a leading cause of attrition, with over 1000 casualties in companies.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Lead with Empathy

The best solution to this persistent problem is to develop safer and friendlier environments for people who fall under the spectrum of ‘non-conforming’. Leading with empathy includes implementing inclusive values, such as respecting an individual’s preferred pronouns.

To an employee, the people with the most influence are their supervisors. Once their team managers make them feel like their needs are acknowledged and that they’ve established that they are in a safe zone, then these individuals will feel less of an outcast and less likely to leave the company. Authentic concern for employees always produces good results, whether or not they are classified into the minority.

Supervisors must also strive to lead by example. Once someone from a higher position starts setting a new norm, their subordinates will start picking up on the habit. If everyone in the company starts being their true to themselves without having to hide behind a mask, then the company can slowly become a safe and conducive environment.

Being ‘authentic’ in this world is a hard feat to accomplish, but staying open and humble in a conversation helps in trying to make authenticity become the new norm. There is no single answer to the existing problem but if leaders lead with bravery and trust, they are sure to herd the industry into the right path.

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration.

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