We as individuals thrive through school and college to land that dream job. It could be out of pure passion or just of monetary substance. Irrespective of the motive, the ground line of the entire process is to provide for yourself and your kin. Provide is such an elaborate phrase, it pretty much sums up one’s entire existence. If it could be defined in a statement it is to sustain and live a life. When the whole point circulates behind the aspect of being able to live life, the extended hours of hustle just contradicts the essence of working.
In the architecture career pool, extended hours are not a question. It comes as an add-on with the job title. We as individuals have been taught to hustle as long as we can, and it has become a badge of honor to the selected few who can do this with ease. As inspiring as it sounds to be able to give so much to your career, it does have its drawbacks.
As a day begins on a high, one hopes to accomplish a checklist and end the day on a high too. This seems unrealistic in the present times, as the checklist seems endless or maybe a result of poor time management. These are just a few examples of why the fixed working hours seem to be insufficient. Therefore, there is a gradual extension of hours. At the start the hustle doesn’t seem to affect an individual, but as this becomes a routine people tend to become restless. This loop of extensions and stress turns into a vicious cycle that engulfs the essence of living.
Nobody likes these additional tags of grind, some of them pretend to be unhindered, while some are subtly expressive. Over a long period, people start to lose the attachment to their work because of the inefficiency that they believe to possess in themselves or it could just be the inefficiency of the management. Either way, an individual’s passion is fading away. The fear that this brings along in an individual’s life is devastating because to the employer it’s just a replacement when inefficiency hits. Therefore, it just becomes survival of the fittest, and in this case survival of the owl.
Most of the compensation for these extensions seems unjust. The reason is monetary compensation always delights the human eye. People know the health effects of long shifts and how these on a longer period have a drastic impact on the efficiency of the body. Even after knowing these effects, people risk their health for their careers. Disturbed sleep cycles, anxiety, stress disorders are just the start of the avalanche.
As research suggests, extended shifts on a regular basis reduce the work efficiency of individuals. This further deteriorates an individual’s morale and capacity to be productive. Therefore it’s an overlapping factor that is a concern in the present times. Work efficiency also creates a time lag in deadlines which adds to the extended hours. This way the company reaches a point where extended hours seem to be a part of their normal shift. The change is so gradual that one perceives his ability to finish up the checklist takes longer and it’s completely normal.
On average the human brain can focus on a said task somewhere between 20-52 minutes depending on the individual. Regular breaks are quite natural. When the work hours are flexible, which just sounds comforting to the employees, the number of breaks is more and the span of the break also seems rather long. Therefore, irrespective of the extended/flexible hours the productivity remains the same.
The Pomodoro Technique has been proven to be an efficient way of managing time and being productive. The Italian word ‘pomodoro’ refers to the breaks in between work where after every 25 minutes of work the timer rings and you get to take a 5-minute breather. Pomodoro, meaning tomato in Italian is a word coined after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used. He derived this efficient tool that most workplaces have adopted and have regarded it to be useful.
We live in a world where every other person possesses skills that are quirkier than the other. With such diversity, opportunity always springs up but with added competition. The present competitive environment we live in seems to just thrive towards a fast-paced life focusing on the future and not pausing for a minute to observe the present.
Individuals need to prioritize living just as important as working. Standardizing timings could be a way of paving a better work experience. With fixed timings, individuals could learn the importance of efficiency, time management and also look forward to a life after work.