I hear a lot about IT folks working late hours or even on weekends to meet impossible deadlines and beat competition. Families of IT people are often heard complaining that they never get to meet their sons/daughters/spouses/dads/moms who are working in the IT fraternity. In fact, I would venture so far as to say that, in my time, if people wanted to break away from their worldly pleasures and bonds, they would take sanyaas and go to the Himalayas to meditate. These days, they just join the IT bandwagon!
And what is the result? Health problems, relationship problems, loneliness, depression, the list just goes on…All these factors take a toll on productivity at work and guess what happens then? Bingo, you tend to work even more hours!
Here are some guidelines to beat this vicious circle:
Leave work at work, and concentrate on private life when you are home. This will help in building and maintaining relationships with your family.
I remember a Zen story told to me once by my mother. Two Buddhists monks, Tanzan and Ekido, were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection. "Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud. Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?" "I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
Learn to detach yourself from work when you go home. If you work not far from home, take the long way home whenever possible. This will help you disconnect from the stress at work and don your private life role at home.
Learn to keep your cool. Remember the old, count to ten? This is needed right after you come home from work and feel like spouting off at family members at the slightest provocation.
If you have a demanding job as a boss at work, learn to leave your boss attitude at work. When you are not at work, you cannot always be so demanding of others. Bringing your boss attitude at home will cause power struggle fights with your spouse.
Leave the papers, books and similar items at work when you come home. Do not bring home extra work to do on your own time; this is invasion of your privacy and your private life. Bringing work home to do at nights or on weekends will leave you feeling drained and worn out the next day. A refreshing life is one that gives you free time to rejuvenate your batteries.
Changing your physical self, as in your clothes, putting your hair down, will help you feel more relaxed as you enter your private world for the evening.
Something that you may not realize about leaving work at work is that you also have to leave home at home. If you are having problems at home, leave it at home; other employees don’t want to hear about it. Giving yourselves boundaries with work and private life is going to allow you to be productive at both.