6 Reasons why working 24/7 can really hurt the future you
Why do we work? Why do we attempt to save money or expand a business? It’s to achieve some goal or dream. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Life is a journey, not a destination.” His sentiment is true, but can be utterly wrong in equal measure. Life is a journey leading to a destination, but it’s up to you to make sure you’re travelling first class, as guest blogger Jamie Mitchell explains.
In today’s society, certain industries demand more and more of our time to reach targeted goals. Whether you work for yourself or as an employee, the 24/7 work culture regards anything less as not reaching the highest potential. However, if you give in to those demands you could put the future you at risk – and here are six key reasons why.
1. Rest, recoup, and regroup. The tendency to throw ourselves into a project full steam ahead and all guns blazing is great! There is little better than working towards something you love, but the next step is sustaining that drive. All jobs have their monotonous or thankless moments that may break the stride. We all encounter obstacles on our journey, but every traveller needs rest; it allows for recuperation and re-energising for the remainder of the task. Overworking and stretching yourself too thinly could be the reason you can’t push forward. Know when to take a step back to see where you’re going, and check that it’s the right direction.
2. Importance of sleep. Some of us burn the candle at both ends when we should really just blow it out! Sleep is not a commodity that’s traded for an extra hour’s work, nor should it be compromised or bargained with. The long-term effects of under six hours of sleep a night amounts to sleep deprivation. A lack of sleep may affect your memory, and can have more far-reaching implications, having links with mood swings and cardiovascular health issues. We all have the odd bad night, but try to sustain running on empty and you may find your future self in a bad way. Altering your schedule by even an hour a night and putting down the tablet, laptop or phone, will result in drastic improvements in alertness and drive.
3. Health is success too. The tendency to ignore our bodies is as ‘common’ as the cold. Working through a cold or flu has become expected by today’s work ethic, but it can affect your performance. Listen to what your body tells you and address the problem. High levels of stress, not eating the right food to fuel long days, and a lack of sleep will eventually lead to illness. Other more serious health concerns have been attributed to overwork, and it’s as easy to ignore a developing major problem as it is to ignore a minor illness.
4. Make time for important people. It’s too easy to lose sight of why we work so hard. We share life’s journey with others, and we expect them to be beside us when we reach our destination. It’s for family, friends and loved ones, as well as ourselves, that we work so hard. The last thing we want is to lose them on the way. Take time to reconnect with loved ones, including yourself. It’s sure to rejuvenate a weary soul and restore perspective.
5. Use your time to save money. You work to earn money, so whatever your job, you need to be a good expense manager too. Careful money management means you’ll make the most of your income, and an expense manager app like Solo Expenses will help with your personal expense management by recording your spend, highlighting what can be cut back without hurting your lifestyle. It’s a way of harnessing technology to help you deliver the most from what you earn, giving you more to play with at the end of the month – in itself a great stress reliever! Unlike many money management apps, Solo Expenses has a bigger brother Expense on Demand, offering the same sort of cash control benefits on a grander scale.
6. Don’t let ‘work’ take over. No matter how much you love your job, attempting to work all hours will dull the happiest of environments, and lead to resentment. Sadly, we’re never the first to notice, and it’s others who will notice the change in you. Make time for yourself in a stress-free environment, and come back ready to face a new day with a fresh head. Think about this comment by Alexander Kjerulf, who calls himself the Chief Happiness Officer: “Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy. The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful.”