Can We Stop Making 'Working Hard' A Success Criteria?
When I was young, working hard was what got you to the top - that is part of 'career' advice that I definitely recall, and for much of my working career its something I have had front of mind. Now, I work for myself being more flexible with the hours of work is something I've struggled with... and have often found myself working hours that were not necessary and were ultimately unproductive. I can't be alone in that, and in fact I see many clients who suffer from burnout who are constantly pushing to work harder (NB: not smarter!). Being recognised in many industries for the hours you put in, bill or are visible rather than output is still common. But, at what cost? Burnout is no joke - I've suffered from burnout on at least 3 occasions and now I am super vigilant about protecting myself from it - its no good for me or my business. So, why do we push on through when actually taking care of ourselves it the thing that protects us? Ultimately I think it falls into 2 camps - what we think others expect and the expectations we put on ourselves. When I question these 'expectations' more often than not they are wide of the mark! Sure, sometimes we need to put in a bit extra but often it becomes a habit, rather than a necessity. The reality is its hard to get off that Hamster Wheel - but taking some control, setting some boundaries between work and leisure to protect that time, your relationships (with others and self) and your sleep will actually make you more productive, more successful, more focused, more motivated (more of many positive things), rather than a work hard, burnt out, low energy, grumpy person - I know which one I'd rather be!