Thanks to mobile technology, we are able to work in a world that is always connected. Many of us don’t have an “off” button for work. A 24/7 work style can give us latitude to juggle work and personal aspects of our lives. We can work from anywhere, anytime, using a variety of devices. In this age of virtual communication and collaboration, work has becomes a mindset, not a building to which we commute. The flipside is that a 24/7 work style can lead to burn-out, confusion and poor performance. The following are effective strategies to be successful and happy living a 24/7 work style.
Communicate & Calendar
As the lines between our work lives and our personal lives become blurred, our life and work partners may not know when we are coming and going. Communication and collaborative calendaring prevents many problems. Provide key people in your professional and business life with access to your web-based calendar. Establishing an optimal and timely method of communication is critical. These seemingly simple concepts can save your relationship with your significant other as well as help you avoid getting on the bad side of your boss.
Define Boundaries & Priorities
One would think American work hours per week have increased. However, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, work hours in the U.S. have decreased slightly for full-time workers. We may be accessible more hours per day, however, actual time working is down. Diminishing work hours and increased access means that you must establish priorities and boundaries. Multi-tasking is that nasty buzzword of yesteryear. Having multiple responsibilities and the ability to shift directions is a terrific skill. Doing two things at once is simply not practical. Allocate your time to ensure you keep on track and in accordance with a pace that you can manage. The fastest route to burnout is to function without priorities or no clear plan to complete your desired objectives.
Quality over Quantity
Life is a marathon not a sprint. That concept can save you thousands of dollars and many hours on a therapist’s couch. Charging ahead at full speed leads to a poor work product. The lesson is: Pace yourself. When you are in work mode, be productive by focusing on the task. When you are at home with your loved one, live in that moment. Carve out time to turn the cell off or at least upside down so you are not looking at it instead of in your loved one’s eyes. Make the most of the time you have to ensure that all areas of your life get attention.
Disconnect & Reflect
Your creative juices cannot flow if you do not take the time to disconnect from the distractions that surround you. Reflect on ways to do things better; think of new ideas. You never know what you might come up with if you just take some time away from the ongoing hustle of the business day. Disconnecting will allow you to recharge your batteries and feel reinvigorated to embark on something new.
From time to time everyone needs a reminder to stimulate a change of behavior for the better. Gone are the days of a traditional 9 to 5 workday. The new work style increases cost efficiency and overall productivity, but only if you manage your days and your personal resources wisely.
Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org.