Why Working Longer Hours is Cheating

While many business owners and C-level executives work longer hours in order to get more done, the truth is they’re just cheating themselves out of a larger life.

It’s easy to sit at the bottom and believe that there’s only one way to the top: working overtime. But the truth is, when we spend another hour on that report or decide to work through dinner – we’re actually cheating ourselves from living a better, fuller life.

Less is More

The notion that working longer hours means getting more done is a misconception. In fact, the opposite is true. In his 1932 article “In Praise of Idleness,” Bertrand Russell made a case on the importance of spending time on personal pursuits instead of toiling away in at work. He also had a pretty sweet array of three-piece suits. But mostly, he had a point: if we manage our time correctly, we can produce greater results in less time.

In 2014 Stanford University researched the correlation between working overtime and productivity. And guess what – more time at work doesn’t mean more work gets done. In fact, the results showed that the more we work beyond a certain time, our level of productivity declines. Instead of focusing on quantity – e.g. more hours of work – we should focus on quality.

Managing our Time

The first step to managing our time better is time blocking. Find the time of the day when you are your most productive and block that time off for your most important work. Find a room where there won’t be any distractions, take an extra step and put up a Do Not Disturb sign and let the people who depend on you that you’ve set this time aside. With fewer interruptions, you can give the task at hand your full attention, and the quality of your work will improve. Who needs more hours in a day when you know that each day, you’ll have a slot of time at your disposal to crush your daily goals?

Remember the Seven Circles

Keep in mind that succeeding on multiple fronts requires us to counter-balance. It’s just as important to schedule and time block for our personal lives as it is for our professional ones.

The most important thing to remember is that success is about more than just work. In life there are seven circles we need to focus on – ignore one and we may lose out. Purpose is the driving force behind our ONE Thing, and purpose can sometimes expand beyond the bounds of our immediate careers. Each circle is a part of a larger whole that helps us expand, learn, and grow both personally and professionally.

Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Each of these buckets affect one another. In order to get the most out of our time, it’s important to make sure we feel fulfilled in the other parts of our lives as well. That way, we have more to offer – more passion, more drive, more experience – in the pursuit of our ONE Thing.

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