Working too hard can kill you.
Nope, no exaggeration there.
Science is proving over and over again that working too much can take a REALLY bad strain on your mental and physical health.
So many of us are starving our minds from play and from the people we love. We’re so worried about our careers and making money that it takes away from the single most important thing we have. Life.
Time to take that back.
Here are some painful facts you need to know first:
- Stress, stress, and more stress
Working too much leads to poorer stress management skills and behavioral coping. This needs no elaboration.
- It can cause anxiety, depression, and a handful of other mental health problems
That right, it’s not only stress you need to worry about. Depression, anxiety, and more.
- Often, it leads to full-on burnout
Burnout is the term used to refer to a state of chronic stress. Worst of all, it creeps up on you. People who end up with burnout end up taking weeks, if not months or even a year out of their work to recover. Don’t let this be you.
- It might not actually get you further in your career
In his book “What got you here won’t get you there”, Marshall Goldsmith discusses how for many high-achievers, the behaviors that got them up the corporate ladder actually prevent them from reaching the top. An unpleasant paradox that might make some of you squirm. These behaviors include habits like “goal obsession” – focusing so much on short-term goals that you forget the bigger picture, and “winning too much”. Does any of this sound familiar? If you’re a leader, or a lone ranger running your own career, working too many hours can create an invisible barrier.
- It can ruin ALL of your relationships
Personal and professional. Both are more closely related than you might think. When we’re tired, our interpersonal skills suck. Why? We misread the people around us – in a negative fashion. We’re also more likely to lash out. That isn’t just bad for business, and the people we work with, it’s bad for the people we love. Who wants to go home to a grouchy partner?
So, stop it!
Here’s how you can start working less as soon as tomorrow:
- Start small. Choose one thing about your behaviour that you can change. Let’s think about dieting, for example. Why do so many diets fail? They’re too ambitious. Baby steps. If you’re self-employed, turn down a project offer that you’ve been sitting on.
- Find something more appealing. You might not take time for yourself. To take on a hobby or schedule in time with your loved ones. If you haven’t been doing this, actively schedule “me-time” in.
- Identify your priorities. Make a list. Who can you say no to? Who will you say yes to?
- What is the underlying issue?Ask yourself this. Why exactly are you overworking? What are your beliefs about money? About your work? For example, some people believe they need a certain amount of money to make their partners happy. Guess what? They’re probably wrong. If you don’t kill the problem at its root, it will just keep growing.
Life is for living, my friends. It’s time to take a break and live a bit.
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” – Oscar Wilde