Is there a boundary between personal and professional time?
The issue of working time regulation is one of the oldest in the history of labor law, as evidenced by the established regulations, both at international and national level, whose aim is to reduce working time and set boundary between personal and professional time in order to protect the safety and health of workers.
Meanwhile, flexibility and diversification of work time, which began in the 1980s, were intended to increase the productivity and competitiveness of the employer and the employment rate.
Flexibility in labor relations in general and working time flexibility in particular have led to the fact that they can no longer be clearly defined, not only the boundaries between business and family life of workers, but also the time during which a person participates in social life.
As freelancers, people with their own businesses, small craft businesses, we dream of hiring additional professionals, of growing our business to a level where we can delegate work, have more time to enjoy and relax, but also more money. Is such a mindset just a utopia?
How can we help ourselves from getting lost in our climb to our desired destination, completely forgetting that our private time is our necessity, what makes us who we are, what keeps us healthy.
In the last year, since the beginning of the pandemic and the moment we have to stay in our homes and work, the line between personal and professional time has never been so thin.
Getting organized is half the job, but in times when you can’t choose whether it’s the weekend or eight o’clock at night, whether you’re on the phone or emailing, it might be worth thinking about time to ourselves and seeing if we’re doing any of these things that most of us are constantly wasting time on:
1) You check email all the time
Sure, you can answer the emails you receive on a regular basis, but every time you do, you have to go back to what you were doing before. Break this harmful habit and set aside an hour a day where you only check and reply to your inbox.
2) You avoid live chats
Need to schedule a meeting with colleagues and spend 20 minutes “ping-ponging” correspondence to find a time that suits everyone? Why not just pick up the phone or head to a colleague’s office and arrange everything in less than two minutes?
3) Always use technology
Every new app or gadget promises to simplify your life, but all those options and settings sometimes complicate it rather than make it easier. For simple notes, good old paper and a pen will do.
4) Always start from the beginning
If you’re doing something over and over again, consider creating a template or finding a solution that helps you avoid having to start from scratch every time.
5) You’re too available
‘Having an “open door policy” isn’t bad, just like being an “office positive” isn’t bad. However, if your charm, friendliness, and wit are causing people to come into your office every day and interrupt you at work, it’s time for a change. Hang up the phone once in a while, put a note on the door that you’re busy and available to colleagues a certain amount of time, etc.
6) You have good ideas but don’t write them down
Did you store your last good idea? Maybe somewhere on a piece of paper in a drawer under a set of important documents. If you have a place to keep all your ideas, you’ll save time and not risk forgetting good ideas (or not remembering them until it’s too late).
7) You always argue about the same issues
Sometimes you just have to agree or disagree and move on.
8) You eat poor quality food
Sometimes it’s easier to order food than take the time to cook a good lunch, but keep in mind that the quality of your food also affects your focus and productivity.
9) You never turn down a meeting
Maybe you have a job where it’s not possible to reschedule or decline to attend a meeting. If this is the case, at least try to add value to time-consuming meetings and make them productive.
10) Try to impress people
Of course this is important, especially if you want to continue to build your business success and social reputation, but don’t get overwhelmed by details – allow yourself to show your other face sometimes, anyone can be late, not meet the deadline, cancel an agreement due to other (more important) circumstances that have arisen, etc.
11) Waiting for the ‘right time’
Sometimes ‘waiting for the right time’ is nothing more than an excuse and procrastination of what we dread.
12) Postponing decision making
You can try to improve or fix something, but if you know that one day the day will come for cuts and changes, better do it now and save yourself time.
13) A smartphone is an addiction for you
This is a habit that we definitely waste most of our time with! “Just one more click on refresh”, “Just one more look at this” – every time you catch yourself saying one of these phrases means that you have become a slave to your smartphone and are wasting your time.
Try breaking yourself of this habit once, and you’ll see how much time you have left for quality things and how much better your communication with people is.
If you’re doing any of the things listed, it’s time to change that, because instead of wasting your time, which we assume you still have too little of, dedicate it to your free time. Oh yes, there is. It requires your decision to dedicate a few moments of your day, or at least a week, exclusively to yourself. Not to work and clients, not to family and friends, but to yourself.
Otherwise, you may feel torn between personal and business commitments, and after a while you will experience frustration with dissatisfaction and bitterness. The result can only be bad relationships, both personal and business.
You can avoid all this – just learn to stop sometimes and create some personal time even if it affects professional one.