Over the years, work has become even more complex. Knowledge workers are expected to do a lot more than they used to. A hundred years ago, a person could train as an accountant, do the same job for 35 years and retire in peace. Now, the average job has so many responsibilities and “Other tasks assigned” that our minds have not been able to keep up. The result of that complexity is constant overwhelm. If you have felt like your job was becoming a never-ending series of tasks, you are probably right.
The first time I decided to take an active interest in work-life balance was when I found out that the Japanese have a word for Death by overwork: Karoshi. Prior to that, the idea that someone could become so invested in their work to the point of neglecting other aspects of life until it literally kills them had never occurred to me. Over the years, I have come to realise that most people reach the point of overwork through good intentions.Continue reading “Why you have work-life balance wrong?”
For the longest time, personal productivity experts have advocated the achievement of work-life balance as the pinnacle of productivity. They argued that work should be treated as a separate space disconnected from personal life. The productive worker, they said, was one who completed their tasks for the day before closing time, clocked out and went home to spend time with their family. Work was not to be touched at home until they returned to the office the next day. This sharp separation of work and personal life was easier to achieve before the advent of the internet when workers were generally unreachable after office hours.
I have a friend who loves coffee. Her first whatsapp Status update every morning is about coffee. As a tea lover, I often tease her about her coffee drinking habits. This post is not going to be about the health benefits or otherwise of coffee. I am also not going to ask you to stop drinking coffee. You’re old enough to know what you should or shouldn’t be drinking.
Instead, I will use coffee to make a point. I want you to ask yourself two questions:Continue reading “You have earned a nice rest”
In one of the Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf cartoons, the two main characters come in to work in the morning, punch in their time cards and begin cartoon antics. At the end of the day, they punch out their cards (and are humorously replaced by an identical looking Night shift pair).
In those days, it was easy. Everyone knew how many hours they were paid to work. They came to work and left by the clock. At the end of the day, work could be left in the office and picked up the next day. There was no need to discuss work-life balance because work and life were two different spheres that almost never intersected.Continue reading “How to stop working outside office hours”
A popular misconception about personal productivity is that productive people are effective because they jump from one task to another without losing their stride. Many people have an image of a productivity guru armed with a to-do list that crosses off one task after the other 24/7. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The most productive people achieve what they do because they acknowledge they can’t produce the same output 24 hours a day. They take time out to rest.
Recently, I read a novel where the Protagonist, a high-flying Lawyer for a big firm is able to close a very important deal by working for 2 days without sleep and surviving on a diet of coffee. Such behaviour is destructive. Productivity is about taking control of your schedule so you can have enough time to rest at the end of the day. If you are pulling all-nighters every week and can’t go home at a decent hour because you are always at the office finishing some last minute important task, it is more likely you have failed to prioritise tasks.Continue reading “Rest before work kills you”
Have you ever thought about quitting something? Before the thought crosses your mind, no I am not quitting this blog. Every day, people face a great deal of pressure. I have heard expressions like winners never quit and you are not a loser until you quit trying. Quotes like that may be good for motivation but telling a person to never quit may turn out to be bad advice.Continue reading “It is OK to quit”
We make thousands of decisions every day. Those decisions add up to become the person we eventually become. Like it or not, you are the product of every decision you have made so far: good or bad. If you have ever attended an economics class, you must have heard of opportunity cost. In very simple terms, if you had ₦1,000 today and had to decide whether to buy shawarma or yahuza suya, the option you chose not to buy is the opportunity cost.Continue reading “You can only pick one”
The classic hustler story is of a young entrepreneur possessed of zeal who goes days without sleep working on a project that after many years yields them great profit. During that time, all other concerns such as family responsibilities, food and healthcare miraculously vanish. How else could you explain someone working for a month without sleep?