Americans pride themselves on their hard work ethic often to the detriment of their health, relationships and family lives. How often do we hear, "I'm always working", or "I'm available 24/7?" I work in the commercial real estate industry and am constantly told by many of my colleagues and friends that all they do is work when they're not eating or sleeping. Is it supposed to be a badge of honor to be a workaholic? I don't think so, in fact I see burnout to be a very serious health and wellness crisis in this country. I am troubled when I hear how an associate doesn't have time to workout, go to their kid's games or performances, or just take some good quality personal time to recharge for fear of missing that big deal. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not be a tyrannical master that demands we answer every call, text, e-mail or tweet.
Recently I have read many articles by "human potential experts" that discourage multi tasking and constantly checking our phones and e-mail. It actually makes us much less productive.
I am reminded of an old story about two fire wood cutters who were working side by side. One chopped non stop without taking a break all day. The other, took a 15 minute break every hour. At the end of the day the guy who took the breaks had chopped three times as much wood as his partner did, who couldn't understand how that was possible. Extremely annoyed, he asked "what do you do on all those breaks you take?" His answer......" I sharpen my axe."
This rebel made a decision many years ago that I would do my best to live a balanced life while working in a business that often discourages that. I meditate & pray, exercise & play regularly, eat a pretty healthy diet and spend quality fun time with my loved ones and friends. I call this my rebellion against burnout and ill-health. Sometimes I fall short but I have learned where the off buttons are on my phone and computer and turn them off frequently in order to tune in to all the beauty around and within me.