Value your time

An attitude shift can help you overcome the stress and negative effects of constantly working, says Vaibhav Datar

Overtime is the amount of time someone works beyond normal business hours. Today, almost every person is working overtime. It may happen due to increased workload, the eagerness to do more, the workplace pressure, or it may be just to save your job. Employees want to work overtime to impress their bosses, get a good raise. In some organisations, it has come down to a notion,“People who work late are performers”.

Well, overtime has its own downside though. Being a mid-life coach, I have come across tons of professionals who are affected by overtime. This is a typical answer from these professionals “Working overtime was a necessity. We used to work late for months together, our sleep time and quality was reduced, which in the end affected the quality we produced. The client was not happy, and in the end, the project had to shut down. In hindsight, had we taken some time off from regular routine, rejuvenated ourselves, worked on our mental and physical fitness, we would have been able to deliver quality work within the deadlines”.

Today, we are seeing an increase in relationship conflicts. There is no quality left in the interaction, including social ones. People are more stressed, constantly focusing on the work in hand, with blurring lines of distinction between office and home. We are constantly working on deadlines.

This has adverse effects in the longer term, leading to depression, chronic diseases, high blood pressure and low emotional intelligence. This definitely reduces the overall quality of life.

So how do we really overcome the overtime issue? What we require today is an attitudinal shift. Here are a few tips you can practice today.

Limit your time

Before starting your work, pre-decide how much time you are going to spend on major activities. Limit your time and see how your mind starts focusing on the task. The mind is a very powerful tool. The moment you give a deadline, your mind goes to work and helps you complete your task within the stipulated time.

Secondly, limit your time to wasteful or non-productive tasks. Identify all non-productive activities and list the time you generally spend on those. Awareness is progress. You might be startled to see the amount of time you spend on non-productive tasks. Either drop the activities completely or limit the time you spend on these. Either way, you are letting yourself know that “time is an important asset and that you value your time”.

Dropping belief

We all come with a set of working beliefs. Beliefs are things we chose to believe in. They come from our childhood, from our parents, teachers and friends. As we grow up, we have beliefs around how professionals operate. We see around and we believe, “People working overtime are praised more, perform better, generally are in good books and receive higher compensation”.

The suggestion is to drop this belief completely. Just drop it. Drop this belief that overtime gives you lots of positives. See yourself working efficiently within the given time and receiving appreciation and fair compensation.

Value yourself

We have a deep challenge of not valuing our self and our work. We undermine our true value. We never feel good about ourselves This leads to not valuing our bodies, our minds. We overeat, or do not eat on time, work irregularly at irregular hours, contaminate our minds with negativity and falsehood.

If we do not value our time and focus, then who will? Start focusing on yourself now. You are a valuable resource and you have limited time to make impact. So start caring and taking hold of yourself today.

Plan your day

Start planning your entire day, possibly a night before. See all things in their entirety and as if they are getting complete by end of the day. See yourself going on bed with your daily work goals achieved. Keep two or three major activities and focus on their completion.

Attitudinal shifts take time. But once you start the ball rolling, it comes down faster and impacts higher. You will feel happy, more relaxed, will be able to give quality time to your family and feel at home. You will achieve a perfect work-life balance. So take the decision to do things in time today.

Vaibhav Datar is a mid-life coach and author of the bestseller, Simplify your Life

Short Takes

  • Working overtime constantly can lead to depression, chronic diseases, high blood pressure, and low emotional intelligence.
  • A mind is a powerful tool; if you set the limits, it will help you accomplish your goal within the deadline.

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