We are a nation of workaholics. Surveys have shown that just about everyone in a professional position works around 50 hours a week, and half work even more than that.
With schedules like these, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life, but nonetheless it should be a goal to strive for because it is so important.
Getting Away from Work
Studies have shown that you need to recover from work if you want to maintain your energy levels, your motivation, and even your health. This recuperation involves removing the physical and psychological stress from work. In order to do this, you need to detach yourself as much as possible from everything related to your job, to not even think about it. That means no planning things in your mind or checking email. Research has shown that this is the most effective way to psychologically bounce back from the stress of work.
Investigations have shown that when you completely remove yourself from thoughts or activities related to work, you have reduced fatigue, you procrastinate less, you have more motivation when you do work, even better mental health and better relationships with other people.
In fact, if you don’t pull away from your job completely, your work will suffer. You will not be able to give it your full and undivided attention, and your personal life will suffer as well. Your sleep and your relationships will be affected also.
The Importance of Play
Science has also found that play is important for unwinding and regenerating. It helps increase your creativity and productivity. The same way that sleep helps your body reenergize, play helps your mind to reenergize. It can help not only with creativity but also with improving memory and concentration, with enhanced learning ability, and self-discipline. It also helps with other skills, such as cooperating with others and teamwork, leadership skills and conflict resolution.
To sum up, there is a lot of compelling evidence to show that to perform your best and be your most productive, you need to have a good work-life balance.