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Exercise, Sleep Are Key to Not Bringing Home Work Frustrations

A self-employed consultant I worked with some years ago once told me: "Being self-employed, I work 12 hours a day, and worry the other 12."

This is the lot of both self-employed professionals and small businesses owners.  You awake each morning only to stare your boss straight in the eye as you shave or put on makeup.  You're it.  You're the one with the weight of your business squarely on your back.

The question becomes, how do you manage yourself so you don't burn yourself out?  Even if you absolutely love what you're doing, the never ending grind of running your enterprise can and will take a toll on your home life and your health.  Unless you learn to manage yourself.

This paper from the University of Central Florida points out two simple ways of not taking home your work stress.

  1. Walking daily.
  2. Getting adequate sleep.

Additional benefits based on other vetted research clearly shows that daily walks and adequate sleep are also key to keeping your creativity at a high level - and as creativity is a core need in successfully self-employment in any field, this is important.  Remember, you are your key employee, and how you manage yourself is key to your success.

Here's the release on this study with a link to the full report.
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Exercise, sleep are key to keeping employees from bringing home work frustrations, study shows

A brisk walk or a long swim may be the key to preventing a bad day at the office from spilling over into the home. A study tracked participants' sleep patterns and daytime physical movements found employees who recorded more than 10,900 steps each day were less likely to perpetuate abuse at home.

A study published this month in the Journal of Applied Psychology tracked participants' sleep patterns and daytime physical movements found employees who recorded an average of more than 10,900 steps each day were less likely to perpetuate abuse at home than those recording fewer than 7,000.

"Research shows employees who are mistreated at work are likely to engage in similar behaviors at home," said University of Central Florida's College of Business management professor Shannon Taylor, who teamed up with researchers from Illinois and Wisconsin for the study. "If they've been belittled or insulted by a supervisor, they tend to vent their frustration on members of their household. Our study shows that happens because they're too tired to regulate their behavior."

The study concludes sleep and exercise are intervention points that can be leveraged to prevent the spread of harmful behavior. Study participants included 118 MBA students with full-time jobs who took a survey and then wore activity monitors for a week. A follow-up survey was then sent to the participants' cohabitants.

Taylor said the study found that burning an additional 587 calories can reduce the harmful effects of mistreatment and help prevent it from carrying into the home. For the average American man, these gains can be achieved with an hour of swimming or a brisk 90-minute walk.

"The findings are particularly compelling given recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association to walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps per day," Taylor said. "I also think the study gives us a new perspective on the importance of getting an adequate amount of sleep and exercise. It's not just good for you, it's good for your spouse, too."

Taylor is an associate professor and Ph.D. program coordinator in the management department at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. His research examines rude, abusive, and unethical behaviors of employees and leaders. His work has appeared in journals in business and applied psychology and has been featured by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox News and NPR. He also serves as research director at Knowtro Inc.

Story Source:  materials provided by University of Central Florida.  Larissa K. Barber, Shannon G. Taylor, James P. Burton, Sarah F. Bailey. A Self-Regulatory Perspective of Work-to-Home Undermining Spillover/Crossover: Examining the Roles of Sleep and Exercise. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2017.

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