I’ve always wondered why companies, employees and entrepreneurs consider that working 60 hours or more per week (Workaholics) is a sign of success. I’ve listened to and read interviews with successful entrepreneurs saying that they work 16 hours a day, that they don’t stop working and there’s also the typical work colleague who finishes work every day after 9 o’clock at night.
I’ve had serious doubts if it was me who was wrong. I wasn’t sure if as an office drone I had to stay late at work or if as an entrepreneur I had to work more than 16 hours a day. Honestly, I’ve never belonged to this group, as a company worker I didn’t stay beyond the end of my shift unless it was necessary and as an entrepreneur I don’t think I’ve ever worked 16 continuous hours.
I think this is something that American culture has created as the ideal for being a good employee or a successful entrepreneur. But, at what price? Where is the balance and quality of life? Your well-being and mental health? Not to mention spending time with family, friends, or fun, in other words…Your happiness.
It’s becoming increasingly common to hear the term “burnout“. This concept refers to the physical and emotional exhaustion caused by work and stress. The symptoms are people with chronic fatigue, they are prone to anger easily, insecure, susceptible to getting sick, suffering from headaches and fever. Let’s just say unhappy people.
Worst of all, it’s proven that working more hours isn’t going to make you more successful or make your business grow. On the contrary, the more time you spend working, the less you will achieve. HOW ABOUT THAT!!!
Do you know why working so much becomes counterproductive?
Think about it, when you work for your business you fill your schedule with tasks and activities that could very well be done by someone else. Your role as a business owner should focus on strategy. You were the creator and visionary of your business, direct it and visualize where you want to take it, and although we aren’t used to it, there are times when it’s more important to sit and think than to sit down to work.
Efficiency is more important than the hours worked.
I believe that people have to be measured by their efficiency and not by the hours they’ve worked. Today’s great efficiency problem lies in the lack of organization and concentration. How many times has it not happened to you that you return from vacations and you don’t even know how to begin your day, the same thing happens to you after the weekend and during each morning.
Your objective to be efficient would be to create a list of tasks and outstanding work at the end of the day. This way next morning your tasks and activities will be very clear. Set a goal and define on which you will work during your working day.
Measure yourself and your employees by the tasks performed rather than by hours worked. You will see that it will become a motivator, feeling that you did something productive during the day rather than just doing your 8 hours of work.
Do you work without distractions?
No one can work non-stop and without distractions for 8 hours straight. In fact, it’s proven that the human mind can concentrate for periods of 90 to 120 minutes and a rest period of 20 or 30 minutes is needed to return to the optimum level of concentration. So, don’t feel bad if you play with your phone, take a nap, read, go out for a coffee, etc… it’s the best thing you can do, but you must be careful not to distract yourself during your period of concentration.
Nowadays, companies like Google have focused on offering entertainment and distractions to their employees as part of their strategy. Employees can play with ping pong tables, video games, relaxation rooms, cafeterias, green areas without being frowned upon.
Give your life a balance, be efficient, concentrate on your daily goals and stop worrying about what others will say if you don’t work 16 hours a day.