Working long hours has become the norm for many industries. Workers across all sectors are experiencing increasing workloads and job demands as businesses strive to make more money. However, in doing so, many employees are having their lives negatively impacted. At times it feels like there’s no win scenario here; either you take on too much work and your performance suffers or you don’t take enough work and you get fired. Working long hours is simply not healthy and it takes its toll on your body, mind and relationships.
The toll working long hours takes on your body
Working long hours will impact your health, both physically and mentally. At work, you’re more likely to make mistakes, put your health at risk, have an accident and have low job satisfaction. Longer working hours are also linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, due to the fact that an excessive workload can increase stress levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. In addition working long hours can also put a strain on your mental health. If you’re spending more than 40 hours a week in the office, you are more likely to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mental-health issues.
The toll working long hours takes on your mind
Longer hours at work can lead to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Most people, however, do not seek help for their mental health problems or stress. This may be because they are unaware that their physical symptoms could be related to their mental health, or they don’t know where to go to get help. Or they may be hesitant to seek help due to the stigma surrounding mental health. We have to remember that long working hours do not just affect the employees; they also have an impact on the company’s performance. Employees who work long hours are less likely to achieve their full potential or be able to contribute to the organization as highly as they could otherwise.
The toll working long hours takes on your relationships
Long working hours can put a strain on your relationships with friends and family, including your partner, children, parents and extended family. Working long hours can increase your chances of arguing with your partner, having a divorce and having a strained relationship with your children. It can also put a strain on your relationship with your parents, particularly if they are aging and need your help. Working long hours can also affect your ability to build new friendships, as you may not have the time to commit to meeting new people. It can also impact your ability to maintain friendships, as you may not have the time to stay in touch with friends you have had in the past.
Don’t work more than 40 hours a week
Most people don’t realize that excessive workloads are a business problem and not a people problem. It’s not that they have the wrong people in their organization; it’s that they have the wrong workloads for their people. So many organizations are focusing on productivity and throughput without considering the human element. Those who work long hours have lower performance because they’re tired, demotivated and burned out. In this case less work gets done. Research has shown that after 40 hours, productivity starts to fall off. Working more than 40 hours a week comes at the expense of your health, relationships and quality of life.
Take a proactive approach to managing workload
- Reduce the amount of work that lands on your desk. One of the best ways to manage your workload is to try to reduce the amount of work that lands on your desk. If you have the ability to do so, avoid taking on tasks that aren’t part of your job description.
- Ask for help: If you’re drowning in work, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Prioritize your tasks: Go through your to-do list and prioritize the items that are most important. It’s easy to become distracted by the less important tasks.
- Delegate tasks: If you can’t get through everything, delegate what you can. Be careful, however, that you don’t delegate tasks that are important.
- Cut down on distractions: Use the Pomodoro technique to avoid getting distracted by non-essential tasks.
Take care of yourself and be kind to your body
Working long hours takes a toll on your physical health, but it’s important to be kind to your body. This might mean taking shorter showers, using eco-friendly cleaning products, avoiding second-hand smoke, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, or taking regular breaks to stretch your legs and get fresh air. It’s important not to neglect your health when you work long hours. You should prioritize sleep, maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. If you can, try to incorporate some down time into your schedule. Find ways to reduce your stress level, such as meditating or exercising.
Take time off to recharge
Working long hours is a surefire way to burn out. When your energy levels are depleted, you’re more likely to experience health issues, such as achy muscles, headaches and poor digestion. When you’re burning the candle at both ends, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. If you don’t take the time to recharge, you’ll be more susceptible to making mistakes and having decreased job satisfaction. You may struggle to meet deadlines and be less productive overall. Working long hours is a sign that you’re not managing your workload properly. You should always be able to prioritize tasks and do them in a timely manner.
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Working long hours has become the norm for many industries and can lead to a compromised immune system. This can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast and bowel cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes and obesity. Longer hours at work can lead to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Working more hours doesn’t necessarily mean that you get more work get done. Therefore, take your health higher priority and avoid working long hours.