It’s time to make work more than just a dirty four-letter word.
Unfortunately, many of us are still laboring under outdated views left over from 20th century ideologies, which amount to the following demonic equation: work = suffering.
A Puritanical work ethic makes many of us work too long and stress too much. Ironically, this make us less productive than if we just worked a standard 40-hour week. But many employers are still stubbornly clinging to the belief that more hours logged means more productivity.
Yes, trying to balance a personal life with a professional life can be tricky. But it’s time to fight back! Take a stand for the quality of your work, not to mention the quality of your health and relationships.
Take Your Time Off
The unhealthy attitude that work must entail sacrifice needs to be torn down. This toxic perception is why half of U.S. workers, in particular, aren’t taking their vacation time.
Achieving the perfect balance of work and play is difficult. It’s even harder when you work overtime or give into the pressure to check your work email from a smartphone. You have to make the conscious choice to buck the unhealthy trend of “job creep.”
Whatever form it takes—having that long-overdue date with your significant other, going out with a group of friends, or even spending some time with yourself—you need to take time off. No more excuses!
Build Confidence in Yourself
Something you may not realize is your confidence has a major impact on how you perceive your work. Think of it this way: if your job was to talk to a group of children and convince them to eat a piece of chocolate, that’s obviously easy work. When we consider work to be easy, we can allow ourselves to look forward to it.
However, if your job is to convince high-profile business people to invest in your company, you’re probably going into that situation with a high amount of stress right off the bat.
In order to build confidence, you need to practice heading into challenging situations with an air of excitement and a perception of adventure. We can retrain ourselves to see obstacles as opportunities.
Here’s another idea: consider learning more about the tasks you perform at work. For instance, if you’re a driver for a public transportation company, or if driving is part of your daily routine, then consider studying at a defensive driving traffic school online to boost your ability in your “craft.” This will give you some new skills and thereby enhance your confidence.
Speak Up When Necessary
Workplaces aren’t always fine and dandy. There are times when you’ll feel pressured to perform. Maybe you fear your job safety, or perhaps there are coworkers that love to harass you. It’s important that you don’t let these problems pile up. Instead, focus on dealing with them as soon as you can.
If someone is giving you grief, speak up. You can start by addressing the issue directly with the person, to tell them how their words and/or actions are making you uncomfortable. If that doesn’t clear things up, don’t be afraid to speak to your human resources department or take concerns to your boss (unless your boss is the problem).
Ultimately, don’t let fears that you might get reprimanded or even lose your job make you tolerate the intolerable. Work may be necessary, but it’s not worth your health and happiness.
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