There are studies which show that stressed managers have a lower quality of life even than terminally ill people. Comparing the quality of life of two groups, the group of stressed managers and the group of hospital patients, the researchers concluded that first group has a lower quality of life than second group.
Technology such as cell phones, answering machines, Blackberries and email give us more productivity and allow us to do more with our time. But at the same time they have allowed the urgency of demands, you must be ready at any time to answer or fulfill a demand. So, improvements in technology are both a blessing and a curse.
With such technology, there is an increasing sense that people are expected to be available 24/7. It is good to be available 24/7, if you want to consolidate your position at work, even more if you want a promotion. The question is if all this worth. What worth more, to have a job or to have a life. If we are available 24/7 for our job then we don’t have a life anymore.
Today more than anytime, work-life balance or work-life integration is a must. We talk more about the “work flow” and less about “life flow”. What about “work-life flow”? It seems that we human beings like more extremes than middle way. Therefore, we always have to strive for balance in our life. If we unconscious are inclined to extremes, then we have to consciously educate ourselves for and cultivate balance in our life.
Somebody may say that “middle way” connote a “mediocre life”, and that greatest human achievements required a great effort, sometimes sacrifice, in other words going to extremes. I agree that a great achievement require a great effort, but let’s break this effort in chunks and approach our tasks step-by-step.
Thinking of causes, we may say that triggers are long working hours, dealing with piles of emails and working in different time zones, answer to phone calls at all hours of the day and night.
Thinking of effects, take into account that an unbalanced life and being under severe pressure can lead to fatal heart attacks and strokes, or to a nervous breakdown. Symptoms of stress: short temper, poor relationships and physical ill health. There is even a stigma attached to stress. Most people are very concerned about the image they show to the world, and don’t like to be seen as incapable to cope with pressing tasks.