When I think back to the last 13 years of entrepreneurship, training, speaking, teaching, etc., I recall the countless times that I failed to draw the line between rest and work. The many times I would go to sleep with my laptop and wake up typing. LOL!
Seriously, a recent CNBC report by Holly Ellyatt states, “The WHO and ILO estimated that 398,000 people died from a stroke and 347,000 from heart disease in 2016 as a result of having worked at least 55 hours a week.
Between 2000 and 2016, the number of deaths from heart disease due to working long hours increased by 42%, and from stroke by 19%.
The study concluded that working 55 or more hours per week is associated with an estimated 35% higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, compared with working 35-40 hours a week.”
Fam… this doesn’t include the increase in hours due to the pandemic! One more email won’t hurt. Right?
We get pats on the back when we talk about grinding all day, every day. In your 20’s and 30’s, signs of overworking may not be visible. At 40 and 50, it begins to show. The feelings of resentment, high blood pressure, depression, and lack of sleep. All signs you may be grinding to the grave.
If you love what you do, money is your master and grinding is for you, then do you.
If you’re sitting on a pillow all day with a night light, sun up to sundown, try these action items to restore some peace to your work life.
1. Create a workspace in the house that is used for just work.
Design it with the things you adore, the people you love, and the places you want to visit.
2. Rent office space.
Set working hours and go into a shared office space. Just make sure you shut it down at your designated off time.
3. Tackle your hardest task first.
Yet, it also helps to tackle them when you are most productive. I can’t force creativity. Creativity needs time and space to unfold. Also, consider when the deliverables are due and who else is involved. For instance, you may have a colleague who can only meet during your designated after-work hours. When I trained clients outside of the U.S. this would sometimes be the case. I learned to give myself time to rest before the meeting and time to set up for the meeting… far away from the bed.
4. Schedule time for play.
If you wake up and go to bed grinding, you leave little time for your mind and body to reset. Exercise, play with your pet, and/or enjoy a game with your family. You can’t get that time back. Plus, it gives you a reason to get out of bed.
We have different views of work, levels of responsibility, and ways of handling task loads. There isn’t a one size fits all solution. Consider the impact working, sleeping, eating, reading, in the bed are having on you. If it’s contributing to overwork, then you should also consider the toll it’s taking on your health.