Stop burning the midnight oil!

Feel like you’re always ‘on duty’? As the boundaries between work and home increasingly get blurred many of us are finding that we are working later. It’s doubtful that working all the time is healthy for us, but is it the best way to serve your clients?

In research conducted by AXA Insurance, they found that it’s common for freelancers and small business owners to burn the midnight oil. Only 17% of those surveyed worked a regular 8hr day and 12% working for over ten hours frequently. 5% of those surveyed said they work for over 12 hours a day, every working day. Over 12% of everyone surveyed said they regularly worked past 9pm, and over 37% of people said they started work before 9am.

But why are we working such long hours? A third of the freelancers that were surveyed said they feel ‘obliged to be available at all times’ as they are not always physically present with their clients. Many of the people surveyed also said they never take a break without having their phones with them and shockingly, 15% said they didn’t take a lunch break at all.

None of that is good news, but it’s even worse for the impact it can have on your health. Fatigue can seriously impact on your efficiency and overall results at work. Any less than the recommended 8 hours of sleep is generally accepted as being as too little to go on to have a productive day. But it’s not just overnight sleep that can cause fatigue, it is also caused by not having enough breaks and working too many hours straight. It’s even been linked to serious accidents at work so it’s not to be ignored.

All of that is quite a lot to take in but there are measure you can take to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by fatigue, which will mean you work to your optimum level and deliver high quality work.

  • Make sure you get your full 8 hours sleep at night and give yourself time to unwind in the evening.
  • If you start to feel tired, don’t reach for the coffee, take a break. Take a power nap or go for a walk, it will leave you feel refreshed.
  • Have a holiday. When you are away fully disengage with work and switch off.

It is worth having a rest as making mistakes because you are tired can cost your reputation and long standing clients, so take that break!


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