24 May 2022
According to a survey conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2016, “about 745,000 people died from a stroke or ischemic heart disease as a result of long working hours, a 29 percent rise since 2000.” WHO, states that more than 55 hours per week are long working hours compared to the standard guideline of 35-40 hours per week.
Research shows that working long hours leads to health hazards such as stroke and ischemic heart disease, which results in death. Although other disorders like high blood pressure and diabetes can cause health complications, research indicates a definite link with working long hours.
Sometimes mandatory overtime is needed when something unexpected happens in the workplace. Therefore, we need to focus on changing our long-hours-work-tactics to keep our psychological and psychical health on top. Below are a few tips outlined by UASA on how one can stay motivated on their work and be productive:
Control your stress reaction
Working more hours than you wished for is stressful, yes. Focusing on your anger increases stress levels. You cannot control everything, but you indeed can control your reaction. Next time your work schedule changes and you need to work long hours, think about it as a new, exciting task. Excitement does not turn into permanent stress. It just drives you as long as you require it. And that is good.
Prioritize your tasks
Multitasking does not work, and focus is critical. The maximum number of tasks you can focus on is one. Extended work hours do not mean that you should do everything in one evening. Prioritize. Decide what is the most critical and urgent task and focus on it.
It is better to spend more hours finishing one significant thing instead of jumping between tasks. Learn yourself and teach your co-workers how to identify what needs to be done, and you may even get read of a few overtime hours per week. Spend a fair share of your time on every task separately, and you will see the difference in productivity and fatigue levels.
Extra working hours do not mean that you cannot have a break. Your well-being is always essential. Do not wait to your maximum limits. Plan breaks as a part of your work. Go away from your desk, stretch a bit, make yourself a cup of tea, do some simple yoga and breathe. Relax. Your work compared to your over-stressed colleagues’ will be better, trust me. Eat well (clean 80% is enough), do some sports, and switch from TV to books or board games with family and friends. You will feel the difference, also when you work longer hours.
Ask for social support
Researches show that people with better relationships are healthier. Partner and trustful friends are crucial to living long and happily. But also your colleagues from work can help. Join some workers’ associations and never feel sorry for asking for help. Surrounding yourself with people from the same industry helps a lot. You will never feel alone. And, in case of some work-related troubles, you will have someone you can ask for advice.
Humans are social beings, and it is time to understand it! Try to keep your work-life balance on top, choose the job you like, use the right tools, exercise, eat well and change your reactions. Learn to get motivated from unexpected events, grow as a person, and enjoy even working long hours. Stay healthy!