I’m sure many of us will remember the culture of working long hours, always keen to be recognised as the first to arrive and the last one to leave each day. It didn’t matter if the hours in-between were spent roaming offices clutching a file under one arm, looking busy. We were there! These days, with so many of us hot-desking, working from home or on the road travelling from meeting to meeting there’s no time to ‘look busy’ as we’ve often very little time to waste.
On the face of it shift work and flexible working patterns can seem like great options. Part of the appeal may be that you’re free to do things when others are at work. You can shop, visit places, get things done with relative ease. And from a business and operations perspective shift and flexible working patterns provide full 24 hour cover and the means to maximise efficiency during opening hours. They are used effectively in retail, call centres, medical, security,
How often do you relax and take a break? Statistics reveal that increasing numbers of us are loathe to take time away from work, with some 19 million days of UK holiday entitlement remaining untaken in one year alone. One in five of us work seven extra hours each week of unpaid overtime. And these figures only record those in salaried employment. Business owners and sole traders rarely think about set hours or what time they should be clocking off from work.
How do you manage the stress of being the best? If you’re really focused on never putting a foot wrong it can be overwhelming and exhausting, not just for you but for all concerned. You may even be aware of people who check their work so often that they effectively become word-blind and would find it hard to tell if there was an error! If you’re at that stage in your pursuit of being the best you can lose the ability to critically review your work.
I was having a conversation with a friend who’d worked for many years in a small family run business. She’d started her working life there, had worked in every area of the business and as such had acquired many skills throughout that time. Now the family was closing the business and she was really struggling to cope with the inevitability of the change that was coming.
She was feeling insecure, lost, fearful about the future and concerned as to how she would cope.
How often have we enviously watched when someone, perhaps someone we know, achieved a goal that to us appeared impossible?
We may speculate, how on earth did they manage it? Sure, adopting the right mindset is important. That, coupled with a little luck, hard work and refusing to treat setbacks and hurdles as impediments lets them focus on reaching where they’re aiming for. They treat stumbling blocks as stepping-stones.
When we have a goal, whether it be academic,
How many of us arrive home after a busy, exhausting day feeling fit for nothing, perhaps short-tempered, with no energy, barely able to keep our eyes open throughout the early evening news or soap operas on TV? We may have unfinished work playing on our minds, worries about a business situation, or an unresolved issue with a colleague or customer.
After a busy, stressful day it can be hard to leave the assorted demands, responsibilities and cares of work behind.
So much of our lives are ruled by time, with school, work, appointments, transport connections all needing to be turned up promptly for. Even when we’re looking forward to something like a run, a swim, a game of golf we may well be competing with others or trying to improve on our personal best.
It’s good sometimes to be highly motivated to improve, or feel invigorated to push ourselves to beat someone else, but it’s also important to notice if we ever switch off and at times ensure that we do.