These days, the traditional 9-5 is never really 9-5. It seems as though people are spending more and more time at work and even when they’re not in the office, they’re constantly checking their emails or phones. How much time do you really spend working each day? In this day and age when it’s hard to ever really disconnect, we all probably spend more time working than we really should. So what’s the big deal? Doesn’t more work mean more productively? Yes and no. It’ll increase your productivity in the short term but putting in long hours isn’t sustainable for anyone. Having an unhealthy work life balance causes sacrifices and consequences that you don’t really want.
1) Less time with family and friends
Spending less time with family and friends is probably the biggest sacrifice we have to make when choosing to work more. It’s a difficult decision to make because we work more to be able to provide for our families but at the same time, our relationships with them can suffer. Maintaining meaningful relationships should be a top priority in your life. Ultimately, you can make up for missed work but you can’t make up for lost time.
2) Stress & Anxiety
Your health and well-being should be a big priority but often, it’s the first thing people forget about when their life gets crazy. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or fatigued because of work, it might be a sign that you need to cut down your hours. The work that you do when you’re tired or ill won’t be your best. Risking your own health to make more money is never worth it.
3) Lack of Personal Time
Having personal time to pursue new passions and pamper ourselves is important to maintaining overall happiness. Working too much can eat into that time. Even if you only have an hour or two to spare each week, be sure to make time for yourself. A little rest and relaxation can go a long way.
No matter how much you love your job, you can easily feel burnt out when you work too much. Many people don’t see burnout as a real issue but it is. Think about a car- if you don’t refuel, it’ll eventually stop working. Our brains are similar (in a much more complicated way of course). If all we do is work, work, work, we’ll get tired, bored, and restless quickly. Burnout can easily explode into bigger issues, such as dissatisfaction with your job or general unhappiness.
Take a step back and think about how much time you actually spend working. Think about not only the time you spend in the office, but also the time you spend at home responding to emails or drafting a report. Does that number surprise you? If it does, it’s time to reevaluate how efficiently you are actually spending your time. Work to live, not the other way around.