Professionals Bring Their Stress Home, Study Finds

More money, power make things worse

“First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the problems at home.”

“Well-educated professionals, even those who have control over the hours they work, are likelier to say their jobs interfere with their personal lives. According to a new study, it's the stress of higher status."

A recent Globe & Mail article written by Siri Agrell describes a survey of 1,800 American workers conducted by Professor Scott Schieman, a sociology professor at the University of Toronto. The survey “When Work Interferes with Life: Work-Nonwork Interference and the Influence of Work-Related Demands and Resources” appeared in the December 2009 issue of the American Sociological Review.

The article by Agrell, with quotes from Howard Eisenberg (a Toronto-area psychologist), included the following statements:

  1. Well-educated professionals (those with college or postgraduate degrees), are more likely to say their jobs interfere with their personal lives - even those who have control over the hours they work.

  2. Job authority, skill level, decision-making latitude and personal earnings also predicted trouble outside of the office.

  3. Those who succeed at work seem to have it worse.

  4. Professionals with the most control over their own schedule had the highest levels of stress.

  5. BlackBerrys and other technology keep professionals constantly connected to the office, and the resulting pressure can lead to anger, depression, or drug or alcohol dependence.

  6. People who excel at their jobs are often incapable of switching off their work mode.

  7. The biggest mistake that people make in positions of leadership is not having a conscious strategy to leave your work problems at work and mentally carve out space for your personal life.

  8. It's usually a health scare that causes people to re-think their approach to work. The warning sign can also be a spouse saying they've had it.
It was items 6 and 7 above that really came close to home for me. The ability to leave work at work was one of the primary reasons I developed Projecteze: The Ultimate Organizational System. I needed a way to capture and keep track of everything I had to stay on top of during my busy days as a project manager. Projecteze allowed me to do that and, of equal importance, it allowed me to turn it all off when I left the office at the end of the day. Projecteze lets me free my mind of all of the work related details that would normally be circling in my head throughout the evening because I know everything is captured and waiting for me in my Projecteze table. I can let it all go. And it is especially helpful for people who have difficulty changing gears from the workplace to home.

I encourage you to try Projecteze for all of the reasons identified in Schieman’s survey and Agrell’s article. Don’t wait for a health scare or for your personal relationships to fall apart. Projecteze allows you to perform at the higher levels associated with succeeding in today’s world while also providing you with the ability to step away from it all when you go home at night or on the weekend. This provides more freedom and time for yourself and your family which, in turn, creates a more balanced and less stressful life.

If you are a busy professional and are experiencing any of the negative symptoms described in this article, you can make a conscious choice to change that. Everything you need is at

The complete Globe & Mail article can be found at:

Reference: “When Work Interferes with Life: Work-Nonwork Interference and the Influence of Work-Related Demands and Resources” (Scott Schieman, University of Toronto, Melissa A. Milkie, University of Maryland, and Paul Glavin, University of Toronto).

Laurence Seton, P.Eng., PMP is the President of Projecteze Inc. and is the author of On Top Of Everything: Manage Your Projects & Life With Ease. He helps busy people learn the skills to get and stay organized and on top of everything at work, at home and at school using Projecteze: The Ultimate Organizational System. Follow Laurence on Twitter and Facebook.


Is Projecteze For Me

Whether for work, home or school, if you are a busy person with many diverse projects who uses a computer daily (Mac, PC or both), the Projecteze system and book On Top of Everything™ is for you.

On Top of Everything™ – Workshop

As a compliment to the book and for organizations that want to introduce the Projecteze system to groups of their staff, this half day workshop gets to the point quickly and shows your people how to be up and running with the system in very little time. This practical hands-on workshop focuses on implementation with real life examples.

On Top of Everything™ - Webinar

You have not read the book yet but you like the idea of being on top of everything. You think that it might be worth your time but you’re not sure. Either way, you would prefer to learn from a seminar. This session is for you. With this on-line seminar, we’ll introduce you to the Projecteze system step by step. While this program is not a complete book replacement, you will learn enough to implement the system on your own.

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