The workaholic lifestyle is coated in a way that young professionals and new graduates get starry-eyed when they see their calendars full of schedules. It's like an affirmation of your skills when you have projects everywhere occupying you day and night. But in truth, you're just running yourself down.
Try to unwind a bit. To get back at this brainwashing that only benefits company owners while milking their employees dry, play a little when you work. Tech giants like Google have playrooms in their office. That's to get more productivity from their employees. They know that overworking is not going to produce creative juices but rather would squeeze the brain dry.
Here are some tips on how you could make your workload easier so that you could grab some time for yourself.
Always have backup files everywhere
You don't need movie-like corporate dramas where files get stolen. You just need technology glitches or even carelessness to wipe out your files. So have two or three copies stored somewhere. Get backup storage for your Office 365 to ensure your emails and online work do not get obliterated. Have a hard copy of all your Google Drive files. Whatever platform you are using for work, don't just rely on their storage.
Backing up your files will save you the agony of redoing your work. Getting your files corrupted is no longer an acceptable excuse online as it had been when you were in school. Everyone knows it's careless to rely on one storage facility when you have so many available online and offline.
Organize your work in chunks
If you have too much work, you could get overwhelmed. Major deliverables could be chopped into smaller tasks. Attacking it this way allows you to breathe in-between the tasks. It could also get frustrating when you have worked for so many hours and yet you find yourself still far from finishing it. By dividing it into smaller workloads, you would see progress and you would feel better and more motivated.
If you've heard of the Pomodoro technique, it's more or less like this. You allocate twenty-five minutes for a task then you take a five-minute break. But a very strict timespan might not be productive either. So instead of dividing your time into the 30-minute cycles, divide your work. You know best how long you could keep your focus so tackle your work around that capacity.
The most important aspect of this is the rest period. If you go from task to task without pausing, you'd get drained fast. So squeeze in a little play. The five-minute break suggested under the Pomodoro may not be enough. Take long breaks. Go walk around the block and buy an ice cream before heading back to clear up your mind after finishing one chunk of work.
Set strict working hours and channels of communication
Make sure you get enough time to rest and recharge when you finish with your work hours. It's tempting to bring papers to bed, but your room should be a restful sanctuary. Condition your brain to rest once you prepare for bed.
Don't let colleagues contact you for work concerns via social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Have a separate phone number for your work. Turn it off when it's no longer working hours.
Sometimes people don't want to turn shut down communication channels in the hopes that an opportunity arises in the middle of the night. There are indeed some urgent projects where people might need you to respond immediately if you'd be interested. But it's seldom. Good offers normally go via appropriate professional channels. If someone badly needs you to be on board, he or she will wait to get ahold of you. Ten or twelve hours, and most of them, time for bed anyway, should not be too long for them.
Get an online PA
If you've taken more than what you can chew, relax. Don't drop your projects. Instead, hire someone capable to work for you. With the online world expanding so fast, you could easily get someone in a remote work arrangement. Meaning, you could get someone from a country with lower per-hour rates. Pay according to the work you would need to have done. You could also collaborate with undergraduates looking for part-time jobs in your locality. In the end, you will need to check their work, but still, it takes loads off you.
Do not call work play when it is work. Sometimes your mindset allows people to take advantage of you. See work for what it is so that you could take a break, take things slowly.