Life in the 21st century is probably more hectic than ever before. It’s without a doubt the busiest and most pressured of all the centuries so far. Folk who lived in the BC years would have had their woes, but we’d argue that building a fire comes with less pressure than directing a plane to the runway. The 21st century is a pressure cooker just waiting to explode.
Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are walking around proudly wearing t-shirts that bear the slogan “I Love 70 Hour Work Weeks”; Indonesia copy writers are falling into comas due to have to work for 30 hours straight, whilst a recent study revealed that a whopping 44% of us suffer from major stress and anxiety issues, with the number expected to grow.
Because we live in such a hectic age, where a single mistake at work could leave us without a job and consequently penniless, the pressure is on to perform each and every day, often with few breaks and very little respite. This means that our focus and concentration levels have to be consistently high. If we feel drowsy at our desk, our productivity levels plummet, which in turn affect the overall productivity levels of the company. We simply can’t afford to switch off.
But what if we are having trouble maintaining our focus and concentration? What if the pressures at work and home are getting to us, costing us time, money, and – potentially – our jobs and livelihood?
Avoid Computers At The Right Times
It has been scientifically proven that we are addicted to the instant-response culture that we as a collective have created from scratch. Twenty years ago, we didn’t have this addiction, but now it’s absolutely rampant. If you someone emails you or posts to your wall on Facebook, you feel a compulsion to reply instantly – despite it being 1AM and despite you being on the verge of nodding off.
The best way to cut down on this habit and starve off the potentially harmful symptoms of all-out addictions is to avoid your computer/phone for the first and last hour of each day. This will help you to unwind at night, and it will help you to prepare mentally in the morning. Rather than wasting your time mindlessly replying to emails as soon as you wake up, why not use the first hour to cook yourself a breakfast that gets you in the right mood?
Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Many folk these days practically work 24/7. They just don’t switch off. One of the reasons for this is that they believe you have to be available 24/7 – or you basically lose out to someone else who never sleeps. The economical world is different to what it was ten years ago, and for some it requires them to dedicate themselves 100% at the expense of a personal life.
We disagree though, and a recent study by Boston Consulting Group is on our side. According to this study, making time for your personal life, as well as taking regular breaks and time off, is essential to boost your productivity at work. If you don’t make time for your personal life, you’ll just be in a constantly bad mood.
Organise Your Schedule
A lot of workers in high pressure jobs have two separate calendars: One for their business and one for their personal life. But having 2 calendars just causes confusion and disarray, and it leads to a lack of focus. You’ll become distracted and you won’t be able to remember absolutely everything – which will lead to anxiety issues. We recommend creating a single planning system where everything is jotted down. This will make it easier to keep a track of plans, and it will allow your mind to focus better.