It isn’t uncommon for many of us to spend well over 40 hours a week at work. For those who are starting a new business, hours spent at work are often closer to 60 hours a week, with some spending even more time on their business.
There’s nothing wrong with putting in a little extra time here and there, but spending more time at work shouldn’t become a habit. Although you may feel like you’re getting a lot done, there are actually more convincing reasons why you should spend less time at work.
Overworking Increases Your Chances of an Accident
On-the-job fatalities are on the rise. Over 5,000 workers in the U.S. died as a result of a workplace accident in 2016. Although some of these accidents have to do with workplace safety, some of them are due to simple accidents that could have been avoided. It’s easy to make a deadly mistake if you are chronically tired because you spend too much time at work.
If you work in an office setting, you are unlikely to experience a serious accident, but there are plenty of other, less serious, accidents you can experience. From a deadline slipping your mind to spilling coffee all over your keyboard, accidents are often the norm for people who are overworked.
It Has Health Consequences
Overworking yourself can have serious consequences on your health. It often starts with a lack of sleep, which can leave you feeling fatigued, unfocused, and grumpy. However, if your loss of sleep and long work schedule is chronic, you will increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Stroke and abnormal heart rhythms can also develop when you overwork yourself.
One of the best ways to reduce negative health consequences is to make sure you get enough sleep. Even if you spend a long day at the office, you should make sure you take the time to do your normal bedtime routine and spend at least eight hours in bed.
It Can Wear on Your Mental Health
In many cases, the most noticeable impact of overwork is on your mental health. If you’re spending a lot of time at work, chances are, you aren’t feeling like your normal self.
There are a number of mental health challenges you might face if you’re working too much. They include:
- Increased stress associated with the fact that you feel like you can never catch up.
- Anxiety around meeting a deadline, communicating with clients, and more.
- Depression in regards to your schedule, your workload, or how it’s affecting your life outside of work.
Working too much can also lead to burnout, which is marked by feelings of failure, reduced accomplishments, and a loss of personal identity, which can rob you of the joy you used to feel about your job when you first started.
Quality and Productivity Are Subpar When You Overwork
You may feel like you’re getting more done when you work more hours, but it’s often the case that the opposite is true. Spending too much time at work can affect the quality of your work, in addition to decreasing your productivity.
Those who spend too much time at work often develop brain fog, which means you’ll be less effective during meetings, and it will take you longer to complete certain tasks. As mentioned above, you’re also more likely to cause accidents and make mistakes.
Unfortunately, there is no magic number of hours to work to be your most productive. Finding your sweet spot means working just enough that you can leave work behind when the end of the day rolls around.
There Is Always More Work
Spending a little less time working means making sure you clock out at a decent time every afternoon, but it also means making time during the day to take breaks. It will ensure you don’t overwork yourself.
Don’t think you have time to take a break because there’s too much stuff to do? Think again! There will likely never be a point where you have finally finished everything. There will always be more to do, so you might as well take a break so you can return to the job feeling rested and refreshed.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re doing the right thing by spending a few more hours at work every day. Instead, spend a little less time at work, and you’ll reap the rewards of better health, more productivity, and more.