Image: Nataliya Vaitkevich
8 hours of work, 8 hours of rest and 8 hours of play – An ideology for many, a reality for few.
In the world we live in today, a balance like this is almost unthinkable.
Whether it’s waking up a few hours earlier to rehearse for a presentation, or staying up late to reply to emails, we almost seem to be constantly working.
This article will talk about the effects of overworking, as well as how to tackle the problem of burning out.
A couple of years back, I was a teenager vying for cash to buy things that I could never afford.
I worked for 7 days a week, over 12 hours a day with hardly any rest days. I overworked myself.
Whilst the money earned was pretty decent, I realised that it was not worth it.
Even though I only worked for about 2 months, it didn’t occur to me then that working like this was enough to burn me out.
As a result, I got less than 6 hours of sleep a day, fell sick often, and hardly interacted with my family.
We tend to get burned out easily.
Where I’m from (Singapore), I found out a few interesting statistics.
A study done by a tech company, Kisi, in 2019 found that Singapore was the 2nd most overworked city in the world with Japan taking the number 1 spot.
The numbers show that in my country Singapore, we may face more consequences of overworking.
The effects of sleep deprivation are profound.
For a start, overworking can lead to sleep deprivation.
According to Healthhub, Singapore is the 3rd most sleep-deprived country among the 43 countries studied.
We all know sleep deprivation is unhealthy.
Sleep deprivation can lead to a lack of concentration, a mental slowdown as well as an increase in physical and mental health risks.
These are bad for us in the long run and pose a threat to our overall well-being.
A survey done by the Families for Life Council (in 2016) revealed that over half of the respondents spend less than 36 hours with their immediate family, with the majority citing long working hours as the reason for it.
As such, quality time with family is often neglected, which can lead to increased family conflicts and even divorce.
So what can be done to avoid burnout?
Asking someone to work less is easy to say, but difficult to execute. Thus, breaks should be taken from time to time during work to avoid being burned out.
A simple game of Sudoku or a 5-minute swipe of Facebook could allow your mind to take a break.
Catch up on sleep during the weekends and as much as possible, have meals with your family together.
This will improve the quality of life and imitate that perfect ideology.
Each and every employee is easily replaceable.
Your family and health are not.
Hence, strive to strike a perfect balance to enjoy the finer moments in life.
How about doing something you’re passionate about for a change?
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