So many people spend their health gaining wealth and then they have to spend their wealth to regain their health” — Anonymous
On his sick bed, various thoughts engrossed Chris’ mind as he stared helplessly towards the window, glancing at the beauty of nature – the sun in its sparkling glory, some birds soaring in the vast expanse of the sky, others gracefully perching on trees chirping, the sound of dogs barking across the street, and oh, that gentle blowing breeze.
This wonderful serene of nature would always be gracious to behold, but unfortunately, that might probably be the last time Chris witnesses such. Barely in his 40s’ Chris, a business tycoon, and family man had been diagnosed with a chronic disease and his doctor’s words “death could come knocking any time” still tingled his painful heart.
As a major player in the oil and gas sector, Chris obviously had all the comfort the world could provide — even if he decided to stop work, there would still be enough for his family to live on, for generations to come. But, he had a major flaw; working from dawn to dusk all in the name of keeping food on the table. Of course, the disease, which is now in its terminal stage, would have been avoided if Chris wasn’t so busy with frequent business meetings and had paid a little more attention to his health. All he could do now is slowly await his invitation from the grave.
Wealth – health =?
Unfortunately, so many people, like Chris, spend their entire life chasing wealth while primarily neglecting what counts the most ‘their health’. While the money pursuit is important, prioritising it over health could be inimical. Billy Cox, American Bassist once said
Never, never, never trade your health for wealth. You may think you can buy it back, but you can’t”.
Do not for once think that failing health condition is a “disease of the affluence”. The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that 79% of all deaths worldwide, that are attributable to chronic diseases, are already occurring in developing countries. where situation lie Chris’ is so rampant.
With that established, here are actionable ways to avoid prioritising your business over health;
Stop taking work home
Really, you’ve done enough been at the office from morning till evening. So, instead of being bothered about the yet undone tasks, it’s better to be appreciative of the completed ones. Moreover, the inability to complete official works at the specified 8 hours time frame somehow spells unproductivity. So leave your work at the office and make a rule not to work from home — except in very few circumstances. The action point is to ensure keeping work folders, computers, and notebooks at your office desk.
However, if that’s not feasible for your position, consider designating a few hours each week to round off your work. Then ensure to eliminate other distractions and focus on family. And if at all, you must work at home, don’t bring your laptop to bed or use on your couch. Work in specified workspaces. Doing this will mentally help you shut off work when you leave that particular area, thus enhancing efficiency and balancing your health.
Take a break
Sometimes, it’s obvious when a vacation is necessary. But other times, the stress experienced can leave one unable to recognise when one is at risk of burnout. Because we all respond to stress in unique ways, our signs of burnout may be unique as well. However, there are some general warning signs that apply in most cases. If you’re experiencing one or more of the following, it’s a good idea to start planning some down time, even if it’s in the form of a weekend ‘staycation‘ to recharge your batteries:
- Lack of energy
- More frequent frustration
- Mild health issues
- Sleep disturbances due to stress
In fact, unless you feel energised, motivated, excited, creative and fully engaged at work and in your relationships, you’d likely benefit from a vacation because it’s a good idea on how to manage your health before it feels overwhelming.
The key is to take control of your time is right in your hands. People who recognise that they have control over their time, despite being under time pressure, are known to be less stressed. This category of people also tend to have greater life satisfaction, feel less overloaded, and have less tension than those who were always busy, but feel they have little or no control over their time.
Even if you can’t control how much free time you have, probably due to a demanding job or family, you can start to be more intentional about how you manage the time you have.
Too much priority on work could be so overwhelming and this may lead to getting disorganised which could, in turn, cause a mental break down in some individuals. But one can ensure a better-organised work life by avoiding multitasking. Where several schools of thought opine that multi-tasking is the way to go, focusing on what’s important at a particular time could prove much more efficient in the long run.
Using calendars or planners, creating to-do lists, delegating many tasks as possible are more efficient and less-stressful ways to achieve productivity than multitasking. All these indications are important in not priortising your business over health.