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A lot of people have asked me over the years, “What would you say is the number one trap for the American worker?” I’ve worked in many different fields, worked for many different companies, businesses, and corporations, and owned several businesses of my own. If there’s one thing that I would have to point to as being the number one mistake that American workers make it is the inability to create work life balance.
Unfortunately, it seems many people, in the pursuit of a healthy and happy life, seem to think that establishing a good work life balance is just an impossible goal. But it really isn’t.
Here’s what I’ve seen repeated time and time again amongst my fellow workers in businesses that I’ve either worked for or owned myself. With so many American workers just trying to make their way in life and being torn between juggling heavy workloads, managing relationships in their lives, and having family responsibilities too, it’s no surprise to me or to really anyone who has looked at this closely that roughly more than one in every four Americans describes themselves and their lifestyles to be, “super stressful.” They don’t have to be stressed, but they are.
What I keep seeing in people is this idea that they have to, “get through the day and get everything done.” When people do this though, I’ve noticed that it’s very easy for them to forget that as their stress levels spike, their productivity plummets! Let that sink in for a minute. If you’re overworking yourself, and not engaging in a healthy work life balance, your stress level will go up. If your stress levels go up and your work life balance is off, you won’t actually get as much done in the long run anyways, making the whole matter entirely counterproductive.
The Importance of a Perfect Work Life Balance
Everyone’s next question for me of course is, “Okay, well if work-life balance is the biggest problem that American workers have, how can it be fixed?” This is simple if a little hard to wrap one’s brain around at first. Basically, a work life balance is achieved by being very disciplined about how you spend your time.
Did you know that on average the worker who spends forty hours working in a week will actually get more done per hour worked than the worker who spends fifty hours a week working? This is because the forty hour a week person is getting more time with their family, getting time to hit the gym and unwind, getting time to pursue their own hobbies and interests, and keeping their stress levels to a minimum. The person who works fifty hours a week has to sacrifice some area of their life to be able to work those fifty hours, and the result is nothing to be proud of.
The key to staying away from stress is to have a good work life balance. When you’re at work, work. When you’re not at work, don’t be at work. It’s quite simple. Don’t answer work calls, texts, emails, or social media nudges when you’re not at work. When you’re at work, don’t do anything but work. Work hard, work fast, be diligent, be dedicated, and be persistent. Make each and every one of those forty hours a week count for something and really give it your all. This is the key to a good work life balance and the key to low stress in life.
Per Wickstrom is the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, one of the top holistic rehabilitation centers in the country. He found sobriety after a decades-long struggle with addiction and has since dedicated his life and career to helping others find the same life-affirming success he has. His program is based on natural and holistic methods and has helped lead hundreds to recovery. Connect with Per via Twitter or Facebook.