Friday, July 1, 2011

10 Ways Over-Productivity Can Affect Your Health

Over-productive people are probably lauded at the workplace and appreciated by one and all. After all, they succeed, going by the success measurements of modern society. Likely, they have enough money, they are promoted at work, and they have good homes, vehicles and what looks like prosperity.

However, over-productive people are frequently unhealthy and not just from physical reasons. When you take a deeper look at them, you'll find that over-productive people tend to be isolated from society and are lonely and disoriented when placed in social situations.

Over time, their ability to cope with life's basic demands such as cooperating with social structures reduces. Stress, overreaction, anger management issues, physical and mental health issues, disturbed sleep patterns, irregular family life, lack of social stimulation and other factors can destroy life's quality over time. Here are 10 ways how over-productivity can affect your health.

1. You Lose Quality Bonding Time

When you're over-productive, your core focus will be on your work and its progress. As a result, your social life suffers because you won't have any time to bond with anyone anymore. Proper division of time is necessary in order to enjoy a full-fledged, well-rounded life. You need to make time to have fun, to relax, to eat with family and friends and take in a bit of nature as well. Relationships suffer due to lack of quality bonding time, which will eventually lead to depressions, loneliness and other psychological issues. A balanced outlook is necessary to reap good health, both mental and physical. When you don't make time to bond, over time your friends and family will misunderstand you and consider you antisocial. You may not be invited to weddings, functions and other celebrations because people will by default consider you too busy to participate. Your over-productivity will completely isolate you from all the happy events that take place around you.

2. You Become Obsessive And Work-Centric

No man is an island on his own; we all need social stimulation in one form or the other. Over productive people tend to isolate themselves into a cocoon of work-related activities, getting their adrenalin boost from tasks well done and before time. They slowly lose the ability to bond with others, feeling guilty over every minute spent away from work. This isolation contributes to their internal loneliness that builds up over time, leading to a work-centric obsession that threatens their mental adjustment to society. This has a very negative impact on health, leading to stresses, feelings of inadequacy in social situations, guilt and low self-esteem.

3. Your Body Suffers Lack Of Exercise

You can be over-productive only as long as your body cooperates. The more you work, the more sedentary your lifestyle becomes. Your body responds by putting on weight, giving rise to obesity-linked diseases and issues. Your muscle tone suffers due to lack of exercise, and over time, you will lose the strength to lift objects and manage basic tasks in your life. Your metabolism will also slow down to a large extent, ultimately affecting your ability to be productive.

Regular exercise is fuel for your body and mind. Without it, your muscles will slowly atrophy, making even walking difficult for you.

4. Your Stress Levels Increase

Overworking is not good if it is done at the expense of relationships and physical health. The American Psychological Association stated in a 2007 report that three-quarters of Americans mention that work is a significant source of stress for them. Being over-productive for whatever reason does cause increased stress. Over productive people suffer immense guilt to be away from work and they tend not to take vacation breaks also, which further affects their well-being.

5. Your Sleep Patterns Are Disturbed

Being over-productive places a certain expectation on you from yourself and others. You feel obligated to maintain the same levels of work productivity and this can affect every other aspect of your life. This level of self-expectation can raise your inner stress levels without your knowledge, affecting your sleep patterns. As long as your body is young and healthy, you might be able to deal with less sleep but this changes as you age. Without adequate sleep, your body and mind will both suffer, reducing your productivity levels over time and causing serious health issues as well.

 6. You Will Develop Negative Habits 

You will end up developing negative habits and dependencies to keep up with the stress caused by over-productivity. Smoking, the occasional drink, over dependence on caffeine, sleeping pills and drugs to stimulate your mind are some of the things that might tempt you over time.

What might start out as an occasional shot of whiskey to calm you at night might even develop into a full-blown alcoholic dependency. Your loneliness will prompt you to indulge more everyday just to feel better.

7. You Won't Have Time To Visit Your Doctor

Working 72 hours or more a week leaves you with very little time to manage your daily life. Many important aspects of your life are compromised, such as regular visits to your doctor. Without routine checkups and medical tests, you will remain unaware of any pathological development that might become serious over time.

It's necessary to visit your doctor and dentist for routine checkups just so that you're not surprised with some bad news owing to your neglect. Over prioritizing work results in gross negligence that can become expensive over time from a lifestyle perspective.

8. Your Diet Will Suffer

Working all hours leaves you little time to eat properly and on time. You may not allow yourself quality time to cook and pack your lunch, which means you'll be checking out the snacks machine or the fast food counter for your meals. Over time, this can badly impact your health and your resistance to illnesses.

Your body needs a certain number of nutrients in the proper quantities. True, not all of us can afford to follow a stringent 100% nutritional diet. Still, if you completely ignore the fact that food must have nutritional value in order to benefit you, your health will suffer sooner than later.

9. You Can Suffer Depression

When you log too many hours at the office, you won't have time for any kind of self-appreciation. It's necessary to spend time with other people. How much time will you be able to make for your spouse, kids, friends if any or even to enjoy an occasional sport? Over time, the sheer isolation of your chosen overworked prison will get to you, causing a deep depression. If you ignore your feelings of loneliness and tiredness, your depression might worsen over time needing intensive treatment.

Always remember that anti-depressants and counseling can only benefit you to some extent. You won't benefit greatly unless you make some positive changes to your lifestyle. A balanced work-life situation is what will keep you happy and healthy over the longer term.

10. Your Ability To Cope With Life Reduces

People who are over-productive tend to isolate themselves into a cocoon that consists of only them and their work. Over time, this kind of isolation can make them unable to deal with routine issues of life, leading to feelings of inadequacy that might cause unnecessary anger and temper tantrums.

We've all seen overworked people losing it at gas stations if they have to wait in a line, at traffic signals when they're overtaken, or at supermarkets when they are not served first. Every other aspect of life tends to take a backseat with over-productive people, which reduces their ability to cope with ordinary events. Over productive people tend to overreact to small things such as a noisy child, traffic noises, litter and so on.

So, these are the 10 common ways we think over-productivity can affect your health. Now it's your turn. What you think about Over-Productivity? Is it good or bad? Or Are you over-productive and suffering from any of the above mentioned negative effects? How to create a balance between productivity and other aspects of life? Feel free to ask questions and share your opinions in the comments below.

John Smith is retired RN and runs a nursing uniform store To learn more about nursing tips and advice read his blog A Nurse's World.

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