How many times have you ignored a phone call from a loved one while you’re at work? Or shooed away a well-intentioned colleague who merely wanted to strike up a friendly conversation? “I’m too busy” is the guiding rationale behind these decisions. I know, I know…aren’t we all busy. Heck, our blog’s name is Get Busy Media. In an age of innumerable distractions, understaffed teams and a million tasks, one doesn’t have enough time to breathe, much less maintain healthy relationships.
Don’t Work In A Silo
Too many of us enter into our own “silo” between the hours of 9 and 5 and don’t return to the “fields” until the work day has elapsed. Worse, many of us remain in our “work silos” while in transit and while we’re in the presence of our family and friends. The greatest acts of kindness are not pre-meditated but rather are demonstrated when one least expects them….they’re spontaneous. iPads, smart phones and iPods have robbed us of this spontaneity and have also opened up more opportunities to work outside the office…trends that are affecting human relationships and our health.
In a recent survey in Inc. Magazine, 15% of small business owners admitted to “frequently” working during dinner, while nearly a third of all small business owners work during holidays. The average work week hasn’t changed much since World War II…but our accessibility to our work has changed. As a result, our relationships, health and sanity are suffering.
You Can’t Think Critically When You’re Overstimulated
A recent post from Tony Schwartz in Harvard Business Review details the effects our demanding lifestyles have on our health. Initially, when faced with an overload of stressors, we move into hyperarousal. This exposure to relentless demand eventually becomes toxic. As he describes, “the most immediate problem with the fight-or-flight state is that our pre-frontal cortex begins to shut down.” Our ability to think critically and logically is hampered when the pre-frontal cortex is no longer functioning as it should.
Take A Break
Besides 7-8 hours of sleep, one of the primary methods to re-focus yourself is to take mental breaks every 90 minutes. Our recommendation: use this break to speak with others or go for a walk…which brings us to the article’s third point: movement. Movement includes regular physical exercise during the week and regular oscillation during the course of a day.
It’s OK To Be Emotional
The final and most prescient component of one’s health at work is at the emotional level. Our core need is “to feel safe, secure and valued,” three key components of the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (c’mon you remember the pyramid from psychology 101). The most reliable way to ensure that these needs are met resides in our ability to interact, value and help others on a daily basis.
Have you left your silo today? Have you found that your relationships and your health are suffering because of your job? Step back, re-focus and find a way to strike a positive balance in your life. No one intended for phones to be at the dinner table, just as no one intended for silos to be nothing more than a place to store fodder or forage. Leave your silo and join your colleagues in the fields…you’ll find there’s more opportunity and happiness outside of your dark, musty silo.
Check out a few more posts from Get Busy Media Here:
If you have any more ideas of how you can maintain a healthy work relationship and stay sane please leave them in the comment section below.