In the modern world, how many people measure their working life concerning hours spent at work? On the flipside, how often do you hear the same people talking about their productivity, the deals they have signed and income they have created for the employer? The chances are never.
The fact is that many countries around the world, including the UK, have a culture whereby your working life is measured by the amount of hours you do but not your productivity. If you have your own online business, you will know the hours can be long, pressure can be telling but have you ever thought of cutting back your hours to increase your productivity?
Where is the evidence?
In the UK the standard working week is classified as 37.5 hours but did you know that the standard working week is five hours less in the Netherlands, six hours less in Germany and Sweden is moving towards a six hour day. There is evidence from many bodies around the world to suggest that fewer working hours increases productivity and ultimately allows individuals to maintain their focus for far longer.
Many years ago Ford Motors noticed a significant drop-off in productivity when their employees worked more than 40 hours a week. This situation was rectified by reducing their hours, productivity improved and this also gave employees a better work/life balance. A win-win situation for all?
Do you battle exhaustion?
Many self-employed business people and business owners will likely fight through fatigue on a regular basis to “show they are not quitters”. However, if you take a step back and look at the situation from a distance, how productive can you be if you are exhausted? Surely the chances of you making a mistake, a potentially catastrophic mistake for your business, must increase significantly when you are tired? So, why do many online business people continue to take these risks?
There is a common misconception that exhaustion is a condition only applicable to manual labour in the workplace. Right, physical activity is tiring but if your business is more dependent upon your mental strengths, mental awareness and your mental capabilities, how can you function at your best if tiredness kicks in? How can you be creative? How can you remain focused? Are you doing your business more harm than good by pushing yourself to the limit?
What is the solution?
If you are tired, struggling to maintain focus and often leave the office feeling as though you have not been as productive as you should have been, then why not try cutting back your working hours? Cutting back hours from your business life may seem bizarre on the surface but what if this increases productivity improves your focus and ultimately gives you a better work/life balance?
Remember that feeling of coming back to work refreshed and rejuvenated after a holiday or even a short break?
Many business owners need to take a step back, look at their situation from a distance and remind themselves exactly why they went into business. The likelihood is that they went into business to improve the lives of their family, to be fruitful and to ultimately enjoy their work. How are you able to enjoy any financial benefits from your business activities if you are too exhausted? Are you actually getting the benefits when it starts to take a toll on your health?