Back in August I published Blog Post titled “When you’re working you’re working”. In it I referred to the culture that pervades so many work places, where ‘busyness’ and ‘being present’ appear to be markers of workplace engagement over and above actual outputs. Whilst the world, and the working world, appears to still be working through a phase of adjusting to the information age there seems to be a lack of certainty about what the markers of effectiveness and/or success actually look like. As we know nature abhors a vacuum, and in the absence of certainty dubious information is taken as fact. Anyone who doubts this need only look at the British referendum campaign of 2016.
Of course the consequences of this can be quite dramatic for people, in a negative way. Can it really be a coincidence that Health and Wellbeing is one of the top phrases workplaces across the full range of contexts. The University sector is no exception to this. Here at Leicester there is a current emphasis on Health & Wellbeing programs for staff and students. As ever, it is worth considering the causes of this situation, after all most of the focus tends to be placed on the consequences and dealing with them.
Reading a recent article In Psychology Today, provided reminder of three important tenets:
1. There’s no “success” without mental health.
What is the point of position, money or any of the other markers of success, if the person is fundamentally unhappy. So you want to impact the world? Great! Who will benefit from the work you do? In what way? How lasting will the impact be? If you have good answers for those questions then the chances are you are in a good place with regard to the above questions. However, I repeat the above statement – if you have good answers…
On my office wall I have a quote from Jet le “You are killing yourself for a job that would replace you within a week if you dropped dead”. Make sure this is not true of you.
2. You’re more likely to do well and stay well when you set boundaries.
One of the benefits of the information age is that we can access our work and our communications in the office, in the car, on the train, in the kitchen, in your bedroom, in your living room…see where I am going with this? Just because you can does not mean you should. It is each person’s choice what boundaries you set as to when and where you can access your work and communications. Your choice because it is your life.
3. Reimagine your legacy.
Here I am just going to quote from the Psychology Today article, because I think this says it all:
“No one is going to stand up at your funeral and talk about how quickly you answered your emails or how stacked your LinkedIn profile was”.
Your choice because it is your life.