Work "Illnesses" That Could Hurt Your Productivity

Maybe you’ve never heard of “vacation guilt syndrome” or “take work home disorder” - but you’ve probably suffered from them. According to MSN Careers, there are several common work “illnesses” that could hurt your productivity and maybe even your career. Here’s how to cure them:

  • The first work ailment: Vacation guilt syndrome. Research from Robert Half International, the world’s largest staffing firm, finds that many workers stay in the office five days a week, 52 weeks a year. There are lots of excuses why you can’t possibly take a vacation, including having too much work to do, but they’re not worth it. The prescription: plan ahead. Notify your manager early so you can prepare for your time away from work. Together, you can decide who’ll cover for you while you’re gone and what can wait until you return. When you DO return, you’ll be well-rested and much more productive.
  • Another common work ailment: Afternoon flu. Sometime after lunch, your energy level drops. Starting a new assignment seems impossible, and you’re thinking about heading home early. Instead, relax and rejuvenate by taking a break to go for a short walk. A study from California State University found that people who walked briskly for 10 minutes had higher energy levels for two hours afterwards than those who didn’t walk. Also, try to shift your schedule to handle urgent and difficult tasks in the morning, and low priority assignments in the afternoon. That way you don’t get yourself into a time crunch and feel overwhelmed.
  • One more common work ailment: Take work home disorder. This illness seems to come on during your busiest, most stressful times. You’ve gotten so far behind in your assignments that you’re forced to take work home with you. The cure: Preparation – it’s the key to being efficient at the office. So before you leave each evening, spend a few minutes prioritizing the next day’s tasks, and writing them down. That comes from Christine Elliot, author of The Overwork Trap: How We Get Caught and How We Escape. She says that by coming up with a daily schedule, you’ll have a better chance of actually getting your work done before you go home.

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