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Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 11 – Don’t Work Too Hard

Top 12 Tips for a Healthier Life: Part 11 – Don’t Work Too Hard

You’ve probably all seen that cheery list, the 5 regrets of the dying by now or at least some version of it.

This post concerns itself with number 2 on that list, but not perhaps for the reasons you might think…

“I wish I hadn’t worked so hard”

The newspaper article and the subjects of Bronnie Ware’s book http://bronnieware.com/regrets-of-the-dying/ bemoan the time spent on the work treadmill as precious time NOT spent with the ones you love and NOT spent doing the things you love.

So, if you feel like a slave to the wage, check out these questions to help you figure out whether and how to change it up…

Is it you, what you do?

If you are spending your working days doing something that holds no interest for you, doesn’t inspire you, doesn’t tap into your unique skills or even make you smile sometimes… it will drain you. The concept of vertical coherence in psychology (lining up the time and energy you spend on stuff with your core values and passions) is proven to make you happier and healthier.

OK so not all of us get to be artists, authors, environmental activists or save the world altruists, some of us have mouths to feed and we all have bills to pay so lets be realistic (while we work toward the dream).

Good questions to ask:
Is there something you can do to drop a task that drains you, or take one on that fills you up?
Can you start later to fit in the gym class you love or finish earlier to go to read your book on a bench?
Can you fit in a mentoring meeting at lunchtime?
Is it a good time to ask for a payrise to fund that course you want to start…

Take one step closer to your version of vertical coherence…

Are you being efficient?

Are you always at work, working too many hours and taking work home at weekends? This might be a hard truth to hear, but this could be a sign you are not being very efficient or focused. It’s so hard to take that on when we are stressed out but you might need a rethink…

Good questions to ask:
Can you reset your tasks with your boss or to ask for help (not a weakness, actually a strength)
Can you ask for some advice on how to work better/smarter?

The Four Hour Working Week has some useful tips and my favourite ‘business book’ ever is called Rework

Taking a break is a perfect way to get some perspective.  Maybe that means calling in sick and resting your brain for a bit so you can see things a little more clearly.

What need are you feeding?

If you are working a lot then there must be a need it is meeting… Take some time to ask yourself…

What does your job give you? Is it good money? What do you do with that money? Do you work hard to earn the money just to take more luxurious rest? Can you rest and relax without the shiny things your fulsome salary buys? Can you find the chill within?

Is there something deeper going on?

Ok here are some tough questions to ask yourself… Are you working all the hours god sends because you can’t say no? Are you not being clear with yourself and those around you when you have done enough? Are you battling with perfectionism? Are you a workaholic?

If you feel like you might answer yes to some of these, first of all know you are not alone. And if you are ready to dive deeper (and get help doing that if you need it) then it might be helpful to better understand yourself and your choices .. sometimes the question we need to ask ourselves is:

Do you feel like you are enough?

Most of us feel like our work defines us to some extent, it is important to have purpose, it allows us to feel we are contributing and meets an important psychological and sociological need in us. But too much work, or the wrong kind of work can stifles our creativity, can lead to stress and can (as the book says) make us feel like we are spending too much time and energy in the wrong place.

Getting some space allows ideas to come in, allows us to look up and around and see the better solution, allows us to be healthier, happier and more whole.

Lack of space blinkers us, it closes us up to other avenues, it can lead to the midlife crisis, the sudden realisation at 40 that becoming the CEO of an insurance company no longer sets our hearts on fire…

So allow a little space as you go along and make sure, where you can, that your work choices are conscious and mindful ones.

Cat Moyle
Holistic Body Worker and Wellbeing Adviser on the Island of Malta

Thank you to “Death to Stock Photo” for the Image 🙂

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