Why You Have to Stop Working Long Hours
Somebody once said that if you love what you do, you won’t have to work a single day in your life. And while this is true to some extent, you shouldn’t put an equation between your job and your life.
Many pride themselves on being workaholics, and we’re aware of the entrepreneurial culture which values hardships and sacrifice for the greater cause.
However, working long hours can have a detrimental effect on our health, and interfere with our ability to live a healthy and fulfilled life. We decided to take a closer look at “workaholic culture”, lay down the facts, examine the reasons why you should avoid working long hours, and how to achieve more while working less.
You’ll be less productive.
When it comes to working, sometimes less means more. That doesn’t mean we think you should give a bare minimum at your job – maybe you just need to boost your time-management skills, determine what tasks consume the most time, and when you usually feel most productive. Overworking often leads to a decrease in productivity and concentration, and our tired selves need more energy and time to complete the task. Furthermore, when we’re tired we’re prone to mistakes, since our ability to focus drops, and we’re inevitably damaging the quality of our work.
You’ll endanger your health.
Would you put just any type of gas in a Ferrari? No, because you know your car is too precious to be fueled with just anything. Overworking does the same thing to your body. We can agree that harming your mind and body is far worse than ruining your car. And just like your car, your body needs proper fuel, such as food, rest, and sleep to function.
According to some studies, people who work more than 55 hours per week have more than 30 percent higher chances of getting a stroke, compared to those who work up to 40 hours per week. Furthermore, working long hours can impede our sleep, put us at risk of diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.
Your relationships will suffer.
Working long hours prevents us from obtaining a healthy work-life balance, which further takes a toll on relationships with people we care about. Too much time spent on working decreases the amount of time we can spend with our friends and family, and work-induced tiredness makes us moody which increases the likelihood of fights. Spending time with family and friends, which is an activity we enjoy doing, can only help you be more productive since it makes us happier and gives us a piece of mind.
How to stop working long hours?
Now, when we discuss the ways working long hours damages your health and life quality, we should go through the ways how to fix the situation.
Set up a routine.
One of the best ways to manage work more efficiently, and avoid staying overtime is to set up and follow a routine and stick to it. When we know what our first steps in the morning will be, we allow our brain to run on autopilot and save some energy for other, more pressing tasks. A good idea can be to train yourself to do the majority of tasks during the morning hours since this is the time when most people have high energy levels which progressively drop as the day goes by.
Stop multitasking and write to-do lists.
Mainstream media made us all believe that it’s desirable to multitask. In fact, most successful people multitask throughout their day which allows them to excel in everything they do. Harsh truth is that multitasking increases the chances for mistakes, decreases the quality of work, and makes us more stressed. That said, the first thing towards a more productive day that doesn’t involve you staying long hours at work is cutting with multitasking. To-do lists can help us achieve more by working less as they help us organize in a better way, and split demanding tasks into several, easier ones. Plus, ticking them off the list gives us an influx of energy and self-contempt we can use to finish our daily tasks even faster.
Schedule personal time.
If you need the rule to make things work then make one to prevent you from staying long hours at work. Make sure to schedule some time for yourself each day, that will allow you to unwind and recharge, and focus on what matters to you. Going up for a walk in the park every day for 30 minutes can be a good idea, as studies suggest that nature, especially the greenery around us helps us unwind and recharge.
Did you know that taking vacations is good for you? No matter how much you love your job, you still need some time to unwind and recharge. If you cannot remember when was the last time you traveled somewhere, it’s a clear sign you need to start packing your bags ASAP!
A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.