University of Chicago Professor Csikszentmihalyi wrote that
When work exceeds time and skills = stress
When work is less than time and skills = underwhelmed, bored
This is so important because the majority of our lives are spent at the workplace during the day within the duration of our working lives. Using the above equation, if you are given too much work to accomplish within a fixed amount of time, negative stress will result… and consequences, possibly tragic consequences, will follow. Do you not read the newspapers or the Internet stories of all the workers pushed to the edge, and many who commit crimes? It is because of too much negative stress on the job (maybe then carried to their homes). It is like blowing up a balloon full of toxic air. It has to release itself somehow, somewhere, sometime. Also, from the above equation, if your work exceeds your skill level, i.e. if your job requires you to perform skills which you are not so equipped, then negative stress will result again… with the accompanying miseries. Either you will turn to drugs, or quietly suffer, or release the negative energy to your spouse or friends or coworkers. The negative stress must have an outlet. As the negative energy is created, it cannot be “destroyed”, it can only be “transferred”. If you suffer such at work, you are not only hurting yourself, but all the coworkers you will treat with negativity and all the friends and family in your inner circle. You owe it to everyone in society including yourself not to subject yourself to negative stress.
If you find yourself in this situation, do everything in your control and power to avoid such a condition. Even if you choose to “deal with it” (and stay in the toxic environment), and somehow internalize the negative stress, your physical mind and body will break down. Maybe you will have insomnia from the stress, or maybe you will get high blood pressure or some other malady. If you are feeling such negative stress at work, remove yourself from the toxic environment as soon as possible. Such suffering leaves such scarring. The scars that working in a toxic environment will leave is not worth any amount of money or future accolades.
Equally important in the second equation is that you must be adequately challenged. If your work doesn’t challenge your skills, or if you have “too much time on your hands”, you will feel boredom and ill feelings as well. In the same way, if work is not balanced with your time and skills, you will endure hardship and depression. If you are bored with work, you may imbibe in drugs and alcohol, or feel frustration and helplessness as well. This situation is just as bad as if your work exceeds your time and skills. However, this latter situation is likely not one to “tip” you over in terms of your sanity and mental stability. Still, being aware of how you need to balance your work with time and skills is a key factor to being able to stay calm and live with a healthy lifestyle.