There are few things better than loving your work.
After all, the chances are that you spend most of your waking hours at work (1/3 of your life in fact). It’s important to make sure that you’re getting at least some enjoyment out of the experience. However, regardless of how much you like your business, you need to remember that it’s not the only thing in your life.
While spending ten, fifteen, or twenty extra minutes at your desk each day might not seem like much at first, it quickly adds up into a serious chunk out of the time you have to relax, unwind, and bond with your family. What’s more, the more you brush off those extra fifteen minutes, the easier it for your overtime to get out of hand.
Though most people think that staying late at work is a great way to show off their passion and impress their clients, it could be much healthier for you to focus on actually leaving the office when your hours are over instead. Here’s why leaving on time is better for you, and your career.
1. It Defines the Line Between Work and Life
Anyone who’s worked remotely before knows how difficult it can be to separate your personal life, from your professional life. Even if you don’t generally work from home, the fact that you’re always connected to your business email through your smartphone, and instant messaging apps that connect you to clients, make it hard to find the line between work, and life.
The more you work over and stay at the office after your hours are done for the day, the more likely it is that you’ll lose track of where your professional time ends, and the rest of your life begins. You might even find that you stop enjoying your weekends because you’re constantly responding to emails and uploading files instead of getting the rest you desperately need. By committing to a specific schedule, you remind yourself that there’s more to you than your work.
2. You’ll Improve Your Health
A lot of people push themselves to work that extra hour or two each week because they think it will make them more productive, efficient, and therefore less stressed. However, the truth is often that you suffer from more stress, because you don’t have enough time at the end of each day to wind down and enjoy the other aspects of your life.
While at first glance, the time you spend to sit down with a cup of freshly-brewed coffee might not seem very important to your health, those moments of relaxation and recuperation could be critical to preventing the common problem of “burnout”. Not only does a cup of fresh coffee give you access to some of the antioxidants you might be missing out on when you work over and skip a home-cooked dinner, but it also pushes you to take the break you so desperately need. Start skipping these moments so you can spend longer at your desk, and your health will pay the price. Just some of the side-effects of overworking include anxiety, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
3. It Forces You to Be Realistic about Work
Overworking exhausts you, physically, emotionally, and mentally. It makes it harder for you to get the sleep you need each need to repair the parts of your body that struggle to keep you going all day, which means that you can’t concentrate as much when you’re at work. In other words, over-working might actually be making you less productive. When you sit at your desk for minutes, or even hours after you should have gone home, you start to convince yourself that if you work less, your business will fall apart.
The more you work overtime, more of a habit it becomes, until you’re not just working fifteen minutes extra on a Friday night to get a task squared away, you’re working an extra hour every day so you can get to “inbox zero“. Forcing yourself to finish on time every night pushes you to realize the truth: you’re never going to be “done” with work. There’s always one more task left to do, or an email left to answer.
When you start to finish on time regardless of whether your tasks are done or not, you begin to understand that the world doesn’t come crashing down if you have to leave something until tomorrow morning. This leads to healthier, happier thought patterns.
4. You’ll Use the Time You Do Have Wisely
Another great thing about leaving work on time each day is that it pushes you to think carefully about the way you organize your time and schedule your day. When you get used to the idea that you’re leaving your desk at a set time, no matter what, you recognize that you probably don’t have time to hang out on Facebook after your lunch break is over.
While you might think that you’re pretty productive already, leaving on time each day pushes you to really make the most of every moment you spend at work. That could mean that by the time you’re finished for the week, you’ve got a lot more done than you would have even if you had stayed back for a few extra hours. It will take time to adjust to the new schedule, but if you push yourself, the result is a more productive you.
Struggle focusing? There are plenty of techniques you can use to make the most of your hours, including the Pomodoro process.
5. It Sets a Good Example
You don’t have to be a boss or manager to set a good example for your team. If everyone on your team seems to work past their allotted schedule, then there’s a good chance that any new team member who joins you will assume they have to do the same thing. Even worse you are teaching your children that long hours working is a normal thing to do. This is not good for anyone’s mental and physical health.
It’s time for us to move past this idea that quantity is more important than quality when it comes to work. If you can get a task done in 2 hours, then there’s no need for you to spend eight hours at your desk looking at the same sheet of paper. Set a good example by clocking out when you’re supposed to each day, and you’ll notice that other people in your team gradually begin to follow suit – particularly when they see how healthy and productive you become.
Bio: Raj Jana is the creative mind behind the JavaPresse Coffee Company. Raj launched his company with the dream of bringing flavor and convenience to people around the world. As an entrepreneur, he knows how hard it can be to make a business a success, that’s why he uses his free time to share tips and advice with other budding business owners.