Table of contents:

Why recycling does not help to cope with a burning project and what to do about it
Why recycling does not help to cope with a burning project and what to do about it

Overworking regularly, hoping to rest sometime later, is a bad idea.

Why recycling does not help to cope with a burning project and what to do about it
Why recycling does not help to cope with a burning project and what to do about it

What is the problem

When I worked in the office - first in optics, then in the design studio - I regularly stayed after the end of the working day or even came to finish the project on weekends. I wanted to complete the task faster, because the deadline and you can't let the customer down. It seemed that the more you sit, the more you will have time. And in principle it was encouraged: you work a lot - well done, a little - lazy.

Now, the thing is, the idea of working longer and then resting on the weekend (if any) is a bad idea.

You are in a similar situation if:

  • work without interruption, while "rushing", and when you finish, you feel exhausted and exhausted;
  • think that the more you work, the better for the project;
  • always in touch and ready to make changes.

And that's why this is a bad idea.

What do we know about recycling

Health suffers from this

Long hours of work lead to an increase in anxiety, a decrease in the quality of sleep and a disregard for good habits: nutrition, sports and recreation. And it is life-threatening. For example, in Japan there is a karoshi phenomenon - death from overwork.

And 24/7 readiness to respond to inquiries makes free time a source of anxiety. This is not a time to rest, a time to “do good”. The problem is that it is not always clear where the benefit is being measured: it might just be about the perceived loss of profits.

Yes, most likely, one processing will not affect health. But if there was one, then why not happen another. The last time, after all, nothing terrible happened.

This condition can lead to addictions

The body tries to make up for the lack of pleasure and impulsively picks it up where it is easier: in memes, on YouTube, in alcohol, food, games and pornography. These are things that bring pleasure, which is so lacking.

If you have been twisting yourself into a ram's horn for a long time, sooner or later the psyche will begin to protest: and now you have already eaten the cake, spent the whole night at Warcraft or got drunk in the trash.

The project itself suffers

By working nonstop, we arrive at worse decisions than if we were occasionally distracted. The fact is that attention is an expensive resource for the brain, which lasts from 3 to 40 minutes on one task, depending on the complexity of the task, the number of stimuli, age, fitness and genetics. If you try to work longer, then two options are possible:

  • In especially fiery conditions, attention will really be riveted to the project all day, but then you will not have the strength to resist temptations or just live.
  • Formally, you will be working, but your attention will constantly shift to your phone, social media tabs, and cookies instead of solving the problem. Therefore, it is helpful to be distracted and pause.

Resource shortages are not replenished on weekends

It works the same way as sleep deprivation. If you do not get enough sleep for a week, then it is simply unrealistic to get the lost 10 hours over the weekend. You won't be able to rest for the future either.

Another problem is that the “overwork” strategy easily becomes a habit. And in this mode, it will not be possible to make up for the losses. Chronic stress is serious.

Nootropics do not work on healthy people

There is still no conclusive evidence that nootropics can help a healthy brain function better. Clinical practice shows that all these super pills are indistinguishable from placebo. Let it be for now.

What to do to deal with a burning project without rework

Set work boundaries and spend time idle

I work for myself, and it is written in my contract that after 19:00 I do not work and I do not solve urgent issues. Working time is over - I do what I want.

It's a tricky thing, and it took a while to get used to it: I'm a super anxious guy who is constantly looking for benefits. I was helped by working with a psychotherapist and understanding that life is not about a marathon and not about who will work longer and do more useful things.

Of course, sometimes there is force majeure, from which a well-thought-out work plan does not save, but this happens very rarely - a couple of times a year. And I'm glad that I was able to cope with it. The main thing is to follow the rule: if you “need yesterday” (how I hate this phrase), then we are not on the way, sorry.

If I worked in an office with overtime as a prerequisite, then I would change jobs because health is more important. Oh wait, I did just that.

Remove rubble every day for 15 minutes

If I get overwhelmed with emails, there are more and more of them, there is no deadline, but it's still hard, because the mountain is growing, the rule of Mark Forster from the book Do It Tomorrow helps me. The bottom line is that every day in the allotted time before the main work, rake the accumulated.

It works like this: start a timer for 15–20 minutes, open your mailer and answer emails before the call. As soon as the timer rang, close it, you will be back tomorrow. How much we managed, we managed so much.

Better to do this for 15 minutes, but every day, than walking in circles, wasting energy and trying to do everything at once. Seriously.

Take breaks while working

Our attention is designed in such a way that it needs to be switched regularly. Moreover, switching from work to social networks is not considered, it is better to mechanical work or a walk.

Working in the Pomodoro mode (concentrating on the project for 25 minutes, resting for 5 minutes) helps to find non-obvious solutions, save energy and spend less time on the task.

There are two reasons for this. First, you learn to formulate the problem more clearly for the next 25 minutes. When there is a clear task, there is less temptation to be distracted by nonsense. Second, this mode helps the prefrontal cortex to reboot.

Short instruction:

  • Work on a timer: set aside 25-30 minutes for a task, 5 minutes for distraction: look out the window, read a paper book. An experiment at Cornell University showed that using automatic rest reminders increased productivity by 13%.
  • If 25 minutes is too short, get distracted every hour. But here it is useful not just to look out the window, but to get up from the workplace and take a walk. The study found that those who do this do not have impulsive food cravings by the end of the day, and the level of fatigue is lower than those who just sit at the workplace.
  • Think of an activity ahead of time. In my experience, the biggest problem is not with the alarm clock, but with the rest in the office. When I worked in a design studio, I was walking, stretching, drinking coffee with friends, or doing mechanical work: wiping a table or washing a mug.

Constant snacks and smoke breaks are definitely a bad idea. Try to avoid this.

Watch your sleep

Sleep is an important part of adequate perception. Sleep deprivation leads to workplace errors, accidents, poor mood, concentration, memory and serious health problems.

Therefore, it is so necessary to sleep for 7-9 hours, and before going to bed, do not watch TV series and on the smartphone screen.

Drink coffee is an effective replacement for nootropics

Two to three cups of Americano (~ 200 mg of caffeine) will speed up the processing of incoming verbal flow, and you will more quickly delve into what you are told. An important point is to know yourself, not to get carried away and not drink coffee in the evening, because this affects the quality of sleep.

Knowing yourself means understanding the consequences. For example, if I drink Americano after 3 o'clock in the afternoon, then attention floats and it is very difficult to concentrate. This doesn't make the project any better. In short, do not get carried away.

Have sex and strength training

We have two tips here. Sex is a moderate-intensity exercise that can be a great substitute for exercise. So have sex guys. Well, about strength training - even 2 minutes a day is enough for it to already have a good effect on health.

Both activities help maintain cognitive skills. In a 2017 study, older adults who had sex more often performed better on the IQ test. Strength training also contributes to this (and in general, this is a good investment in health for years to come).

Working on fire and without interruption is a bad strategy that comes back to health. To avoid these conditions, set your work boundaries. And if you get hit, take a break during work, get enough sleep, drink coffee, play sports and have sex.

Popular by topic