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You’ll Be Much More Productive Yet Relaxed Once You Realize This Human Limit

You’ll Be Much More Productive Yet Relaxed Once You Realize This Human Limit

Employees that work long hours in the office are not uncommon. In fact, a Gallup poll[1] found that in the United States, an average full-time employee works 47 hours in a week, several hours in excess of the regular 40-hour week. It was also found that almost one in five workers work 60 hours or more each week. What is the effect of this? Stress and burnout. Is it worth working long hours in the office and is there a payoff? No. Our advice: Do not let too much work lead to stress and burnout. Working longer hours is not only bad for our health, but also detrimental for our careers because it affects how productive we are.In Japan, “karoshi” or death due to overworking does happen. In a report,[2] it was released that almost one in four (23%) Japanese companies have workers that work over 80 hours of overtime per month.Why does working too much give us diminshed returns?

It is bad for you physically.

Heart problems are not uncommon for people that put in too many hours at work. A study,[3] released that long working hours may cause raised blood pressure, unhealthy diet, and stress. A combination of these may cause serious health problems.The researchers put together various results from studies and came up with a conclusion that working too long hours in the office resulted in a 40 to 80 percent greater chance of heart disease compared to a regular 8-hour work day.

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It makes you depressed.

Employees that work long hours are at a risk for depression. In a new study,[4] it was revealed that employees who work over 11 hours in a day have at least a double risk of a major depressive episode than employees who work the regular 7-8 hours in a day.

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It affects you mentally and cognitively.

Someone that works long hours has a tendency to be less productive. This is because employees that work more than the regular 8-hour workday have a tendency to have cognitive issues. A study[5] had found out that participants that worked more than 55 hours per week had lower scores on vocabulary tests than those that worked 40 hours or less in a week. There was also a major drop in the particiants’ fluid intelligence in between the tests.

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What you should do

Do use your vacation days and avoid working more than the regular 8 hours in a day. The negative effect of overworking could greatly hinder your productivity and in turn affect your work in general. If it affects your work, then it affects the productivity of the company too. A Stanford University study[6] found that employee output goes down after 50 hours per week and dives down even more after 56 hours. Similar studies have found that there is a relation between overwork and absenteeism, impaired decision-making skills and long-term memory loss.In a separate report from the US-based campaign Project: Time Off[7] found out that long-working office martyrs were less likely than their peers to have received a bonus in the last three years. After all, which company would give a bonus to an employee that is always absent because of sickness, always mentally and physically tired, and not productive? Overall if you limit your work week to 40 hours you will be more done and be physically and mentally healthy.

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Reference

More by this author

Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

Quit Your Job If You Don’t Like It, No Matter What

Do you know that feeling? The one where you have to wake up to go to your boring 9-5 job to work with the same boring colleagues who don’t appreciate what you do.

I do, and that’s why I’ve decided to quit my job and follow my passion. This, however, requires a solid plan and some guts.

The one who perseveres doesn’t always win. Sometimes life has more to offer when you quit your current job. Yes, I know. It’s overwhelming and scary.

People who quit are often seen as ‘losers’. They say: “You should finish what you’ve started”.

I know like no other that quitting your job can be very stressful. A dozen questions come up when you’re thinking about quitting your job, most starting with: What if?

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“What if I don’t find a job I love and regret quitting my current job?”
“What if I can’t find another job and I get in debt because I can’t pay my bills?”
“What if my family and friends judge me and disapprove of the decisions I make?”
“What if I quit my job to pursue my dream, but I fail?

After all, if you admit to the truth of your surroundings, you’re forced to acknowledge that you’ve made a wrong decision by choosing your current job. But don’t forget that quitting certain things in life can be the path to your success!

One of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford:

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Everything takes energy

Everything you do in life takes energy. It takes energy to participate in your weekly activities. It takes energy to commute to work every day. It takes energy to organize your sister’s big wedding.

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Each of the responsibilities we have take a little bit of our energy. We only have a certain amount of energy a day, so we have to spend it wisely.  Same goes for our time. The only things we can’t buy in this world are time and energy. Yes, you could buy an energy drink, but will it feel the same as eight hours of sleep? Will it be as healthy?

The more stress there is in your life, the less focus you have. This will weaken your results.

Find something that is worth doing

Do you have to quit every time the going gets touch? Absolutely not! You should quit when you’ve put everything you’ve got into something, but don’t see a bright future in it.

When you do something you love and that has purpose in your life, you should push through and give everything you have.

I find star athletes very inspiring. They don’t quit till they step on that stage to receive their hard earned gold medal. From the start, they know how much work its going to take and what they have to sacrifice.

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When you do something you’re really passionate about, you’re not in a downward spiral. Before you even start you can already see the finish line. The more focus you have for something, the faster you’ll reach the finish.

It is definitely possible to spend your valuable time on something you love and earn money doing it. You just have to find out how — by doing enough research.

Other excuses I often hear are:

“But I have my wife and kids, who is going to pay the bills?”
“I don’t have time for that, I’m too busy with… stuff” (Like watching TV for 2 hours every day.)
“At least I get the same paycheck every month if I work for a boss.”
“Quitting my job is too much risk with this crisis.”

I understand those points. But if you’ve never tried it, you’ll never know how it could be. The fear of failure keeps people from stepping out of their comfort zone.

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I’ve heard many people say, “I work to let my children make their dream come true”. I think they should rephrase that sentence to: “I pursue my dreams — to inspire and show my children anything is possible.” 

Conclusion

Think carefully about what you spend your time on. Don’t waste it on things that don’t brighten your future. Instead, search for opportunities. And come up with a solid plan before you take any impulsive actions.

Only good things happen outside of your comfort zone.

Do you dare to quit your job for more success in life?

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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