With the global economy and the job market being in the state they’re in, it’s no wonder that an ever-increasing number of employees are reporting that they feel chronically overworked and underpaid. For the most part, their feelings are justified – the context is just perfect for it. On the one hand, the historically high levels of unemployment are harboring job insecurities, which, in turn, drive workers toward over-exerting themselves. On the other, the constant connectivity promoted by the Internet has been leading many unable to stop themselves from working, be they at home or on the job. What can be done? Plenty of things, simple ones, too, which will make you feel more rested, satisfied with your job and fulfilled.
Observe your working biorhythm
It might sound hack-y, but it’s actually a proven fact of labor psychology: we all have a so-called inner clock, which dictates our best hours for work. For some, it hits early on in the morning, while others peak right after lunch. You might even be a night owl; whatever the case may be for you, you can control feeling overworked and underpaid if you do most of the work during these efficient hours of the day. First of all, of course, you need to identify them. Then apply yourself to creating a working hour routine that will keep dissatisfaction at bay.
Stop feeling overworked and underpaid by working efficiently
One of the most damaging views on work says that you have to spend 10+ hours on the job each day, in order to show your higher-ups that you’re pulling your weight. Not only does this leave you exhausted, but it also invites the sense of being overworked and underpaid. Consider some of the world’s greatest stories of entrepreneurial success – they are never about how long they worked for each day, but about how efficient they were in putting in that work. In other words, if you can do the job in three hours, find a way to do so. No one’s going to hand you a medal for always being the first one in and the last one out of the office.
Know when to stop working
This means that work stops in the evenings and on the weekends, as well as that you are not allowed to bring any of it home with you. Yes, that project may be due in tomorrow, but there is such a thing as personal space – human beings need it in order to thrive and this need is as real as possible. Not bringing the workload home with you also entails disconnecting from job issues during your leisure time. If you’re having dinner at your favorite place, but still find nothing to talk about except for your new boss, you might want to consider taking a vacation.
Avoid excess breaks and distractions
Taking a break during your working hours is a great idea, when done in moderation. Experts actually advise for a ten-minute break to each hour spent working. However, avoid getting up from your desk every other fifteen minutes, just to busy yourself with getting drink from the water cooler. It’s virtually guaranteed that you’ll be losing some 20 minutes for every hour, which, in the end, will render you inefficient, overworked and underpaid. Also, since we live in the age of constant connectivity, you might want to limit your access to social media while working.
Make time for yourself
This is the most basic and commonsensical piece of advice for all those who feel overworked and underpaid. Always make sure to find some time for yourself each day. It could be something small, such as cooking a healthy favorite meal to bring to lunch at the office the following day. Don’t deny yourself this small ‘luxury’, because, if you do, you’ll be missing out on the feeling of relaxation.
In case you’re still holding back, here’s a good reason to work toward controlling the feeling of being overworked and underpaid. According to a recent study in cardiology, people who constantly work more than 8 hours a day have far higher odds at developing a heart conditions: by 40 to 80 per cent higher. At the same time, a 2011 survey completed in the United Kingdom shows that working over 11 hours each day will increase the risk of cardiologic problems by some 67 per cent. So stop, reconsider, and shift your priorities toward maintaining your health. You’ll be thanking yourself in the long-run.