Thursday, October 6, 2011

Draw a Line Between Work and Free Time

By Tom Nomak

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Throughout the years the boundary between work and leisure has vanished. In the past everything used to be very simple. We used to work in factories for 8 hours or so and after that we went home to enjoy the family dinner or have a beer with our friends. There was no way to bring your work home ( at least in most cases). Everything was done in one single location with a specific set of tools that were available only at your workstation. A smith worked in his workshop a doctor practiced in his office and there was no other place that they would go to work.

Unfortunately these days are over. Since then we have experienced a technological revolution that changed our idea of work as well as the work conditions. In the past it was harder to work on the weekends because you would have to drive to the office. It was also much harder for the boss to reach the employees after working hours. If they were having a picnic then they were practically unreachable. The development in technology and a move towards information society have made it increasingly difficult to separate work and leisure. Drawing a line between those two is now very hard. Much harder than it was let's say 100 years ago.

At the moment it is not a problem to work even while commuting nor is it a problem to work at (or from) home. It seems like a giant leap forward but when you look closer you may notice that it actually brings more problems than benefits. Of course it is better for the employers but is it something employees can be happy about?

If you really enjoy your work then maybe you haven't even noticed anything but for most people this strong connection with their job is quite uncomfortable. Actually even the most dedicated workers need to have a life outside of work - it doesn't matter how much they love the job. In the same way everyone needs a break during the workday. If you find yourself losing track of time it may be a good idea to use a timer and designate certain periods of time for small breaks. Such a clear distinction between your job and free time is particularly important for freelancers and people working at home but basically this rule applies to everyone. Work hard, rest often.