For years the workforce in different countries has been governed by an operational routine of 8 hours. As well as 8 hours of sleep are recommended, including 8 hours of recreation. However, time management becomes relative when efficient work and conscientious work are put into perspective.
At work, the ideal is to fulfill all assigned tasks in a given time, however, traditional productivity styles can increase the worker’s stress levels and imply an impossible load to carry in such tight work schedules, especially if it is a job under pressure .
Even when at the organizational level there is a schedule of tasks that must be carried out within a set time, it is very common for many of these activities to be extended due to unexpected situations and other unplanned activities arise, turning labor management into a fight against labor. weather.
Theoretically, the human being should dedicate a maximum of 8 hours a day to work and distribute the rest of the time between rest and enjoyment; however, in practice this is far from being a reality, since the daily routine becomes uphill when responsibilities and workloads increase.
One would have to ask whether work management depends on a certain time through efficient work , or is it a time management that converts work into conscious work with the same success, but without compromising the mental health of the worker.
According to the article of the INSST (National Institute of Safety and Health at Work), the addition of more demands in terms of working time (overtime, irregular hours, long meetings, etc.), has given space to determine a new occupational risk factor called “intensification”
The result of this study, based on the opinion of different workers, showed that the majority are concerned about the established work schedule and the different variables that arise during labor management, which can rarely be covered within 8 hours. of corresponding work.
When responsibilities increase, within the same schedule, stress situations are generated that end up creating a work environment under pressure , which, without a doubt, affects the effectiveness of the worker, reducing their productivity. It is here, when time management plays a fundamental role.
What is time management?
Time management refers to the management of hours, as a fundamental basis for effectiveness and productivity . When we talk about time management, we talk about the management of schedules, through a process of planning hours, with the fundamental objective of giving optimal and effective performance in all tasks.
For time management to be successful, each worker requires a significant change in the way they focus, from the planning of their activities, to a successful result.
When it comes to time management in the labor field, it consists of the way to have control over time limits, so that in addition to being able to be productive and effective in work tasks, the hours can be managed to also have time for work. quality for the family, rest and recreation.
Most definitions of time management in the workplace qualify it as successful as long as there is room for the worker to rest. This means that satisfactory time management involves both the fulfillment of work tasks and the personal commitments of each worker.
Time management will not be favorable if both the work part and the personal part are not treated equally. Bearing in mind that work under pressure tends to increase responsibilities and workload at the same time and hours, both the employee’s productivity and mental health are compromised.
However, the administration of hours and time does not always depend on a work schedule or workload, it will also depend on the worker applying certain tools and maintaining a work structure that really allows him to fulfill his tasks, balancing his routine with efficient work and conscious work.
8 hour day: Does it really work or is it an obsolete system?
The working hours as it is currently known had its key stage from the historical point of view during the Industrial Revolution. In the 19th century, large companies and factories had their workers working long hours that ranged from 10 to 16 hours a day.
It was Robert Owen, a British businessman, who proposed working days of 8 hours a day with his own workers, so that they could have 8 hours of rest and 8 hours for leisure activities. The proposal caught the attention of trade union movements of the time and the idea spread to other countries and continents.
Spain has adopted this work system since 1919 and most companies continue to use this format, which has been in force for more than a century.
Time management in the workplace has been practiced based on this system that has been in existence for more than 100 years and that many specialists indicate is totally obsolete, since now with new concepts such as teleworking, among others, it is possible to be the same productive and efficient in less time.
Countries like Sweden have made headlines for the successful implementation of 6-hour work days, after an experiment carried out for a year, in which workers continue to receive the same salary for fewer hours of work. This has represented a restructuring in time management that has been favorable to them.
However, according to research carried out by South Korea and published by the Journal of Happiness Studies, experts found that reducing the work day did not achieve a satisfactory improvement in the productivity of its workers.
This validates that in theory, employees may show a positive attitude towards reduced working hours, but in practice, they have less time to perform the same tasks.
Covering the same workload but in less time can mean an increase in the volume of responsibilities, which leads to a working day under pressure with a level of demand that is too high, which can raise the worker’s stress levels and decrease your productivity.
Efficient work or conscious work?
To talk about efficient work , it is necessary to define the word efficiency, which is known as the process of carrying out a task, in the shortest time possible and with the least amount of effort.
I know it’s really effective at work when the responsible person is able to perform a task not only correctly, but also in the established time. It could be said that the main protagonist in efficient work is, in fact, time.
The constant need to do effective work has made time, according to journalist Oliver Burkeman, become the “efficiency trap” , since no one can really escape the feeling of being able to do something else.
Undoubtedly, this can be related to the labor field, in which the worker is constantly in situations of extreme stress and anxiety, when time is the enemy to defeat in order to carry out a job successfully.
Productivity is not necessarily about staying busy all the time, or getting work done as quickly as possible. It is proven that working without breaks generates significant physical and mental exhaustion for the worker, who will eventually find workloads unsustainable in the short or long term.
Generally, much more is said and discussed about efficient work , delivering tasks on time and with high quality, however, other methods for work coexistence have been brought to the table, such as conscious work .
Currently, many specialists promote conscious work as an alternative way to efficient work to also achieve a successful result, but through a slow work movement or also known as “slow work”.
Currently, society is committed to working hours and doing their tasks as quickly as possible in any field, especially at work. That’s when the race against time begins in any job, making it more common for people to increasingly face work under pressure .
According to the survey carried out by CaeerCast , the idea of productivity associated with the speed of work can have serious consequences for both the mental and physical health of the worker. In addition, it was determined that meeting work delivery deadlines is the main source of stress for employees.
It is for this reason that the principles of conscious work have begun to be applied in the labor field , a philosophy that invites the worker to be more aware of their work routine and their life in general.
Consciousness is considered one of the most important personality traits, which can lead to a person under the conscious work modality, being able to stand out among others for their level of organization, practice of self-control and sense of alertness in the face of the rules, which can also lead to successful results.
Among the objectives of conscious work is to make a more pleasant work day for the employee, involving greater concentration and attention, but above all, more time for each assignment, as well as breaks interspersed within the work routine.
Contrary to the attitude of the employee through efficient work, which consists of doing more in less time; Conscious work proposes allocating more attention and time to different activities.
At first glance it may seem that mindful work goes against everything we have learned for decades, however, according to a recent study , mindful work and the “slow work” method works effectively as a promoter of protection from bad habits. of work and as a factor to predict positive results both at work and in daily life.
Conscious work would imply a method of productivity under consciousness, in which, unlike efficient work, it is not time that dominates, but energy.
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Tips for better time management at work
Each person has their particular way of working and acts according to their own criteria, depending on the needs of their processes. However, there are guidelines for time management at work, which are generic and could help the worker to do a job that meets the requirements without compromising their emotional stability.
Identify productivity hours
The traditional 8-hour work system rigorously requires that all workers must perform their tasks starting in the morning and ending in the afternoon. However, not all people are productive at the same time.
Those who work remotely can take advantage of this tool to define what their most productive hours are or where they feel they have more energy and motivation. Once you identify them, the ideal is to do the most demanding tasks in that period and the most flexible tasks in the rest of the hours.
Start the day knowing what to do
Being very clear about the tasks that must be carried out is an excellent way to start the workday, especially if it is a job under pressure . It is common to arrive at the office and do small tasks, only to feel at the end of the afternoon that nothing has been done. For this reason, it is important to set goals for the day.
For this, it is important to prioritize which are the most urgent or important jobs. Generally these are the ones that require faster activity or require immediate action; while those that are not so urgent will surely require more time.
Reduce the number of tasks you take on
Without a doubt, time is the enemy when it comes to work under pressure . However, work becomes pressure when many tasks are taken on with very little time.
Part of conscious work is knowing the times and capacities, so the ideal is to assume a number of tasks that are feasible and consistent within the stipulated hours. Committing to more activities is not a guarantee of productivity, so selecting the ones that are possible to carry out will be the best way to guarantee efficiency at work.
The amount of work and the time spent doing it will undoubtedly depend on the worker, their organization and awareness of their abilities and skills. The purpose of productivity is to generate positive results and it is not necessarily linked to assuming the greatest number of commitments, nor based on quantity, but rather quality.
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