You don't live to work, you work to live

You don't live to work, you work to live

You don't live to work, you work to live

Last update: 13 September, 2016

There is a widespread myth that “working harder every day helps shape a better professional future”. It is, in fact, a myth because, even if certainly having long working days can help to improve one's income, over time this only serves to develop professional fatigue and to make less at work.

Hard work is seen by many as the path to success. This is partly true, because there are not many chances to triumph except through continuous effort. However, we are wrong when we think that hard work necessarily implies "over-employment". In fact, it has been shown that working too much leads to poorer results.

“One machine can do the work of 50 normal men. However, there is no machine that can do the work of an extraordinary man ”.

-Elbert Hubbard-

The worst part is that many discover this great truth when it is too late. When you are sick of stress or any other mental illness. This discovery also happens when people realize that, due to their level of need, they have missed moments that they will never be able to recover. and which, rationally, they would never have given up.

They face divorce due to their partner's emotional distancing or realize that their children are grown up and have never played with them. They wake up one day and, as soon as they open their eyes, they are invaded by a deep sadness, a pain that, after all, money or social importance does not heal easily.

The consequences of too many hours of work

Most people think they need to work hard when they are young in order to secure a good retirement. Despite this, they soon realize that after eight hours a day dedicated to the same activity, the mind begins to wander and get lost. It is very difficult to concentrate on what you are doing and sometimes even having a good, restful sleep.

Over time, those symptoms turn into general discomfort. We always feel sad, full of anguish because we always try to respect all our duties and we are invaded by guilt because we cannot do everything perfectly.

That's when you become irritable. Everything, or almost everything, is a regret. This bad mood is justified by saying and saying that we are serious people, that our goals are very ambitious and that you cannot face life always smiling at everything. Maybe it also adds that "idealistic time wasters exist for that".

There is a feeling that there will be time for personal life. We have the opportunity to do it in the here and now and it cannot be missed. It is obvious that some sacrifices have to be made, but your goals are worth it. Without realizing it, we become a piece inside the mechanism of production and we are exchanging our health and our happiness for money.. Money that we plan to use when we are no longer young enough to do so.

Don't live just to work

According to a study by Bannai and Tmakoshi, overworking is at the root of nearly all sleep problems and coronary heart disease. It has also been found that those who work to excess run a higher risk of being alcoholic, developing type 2 diabetes and suffering from burnout syndrome.

No matter which side you look at, working too hard does not bring any good, except a few extra euros at the end of the month which, however, does not pay back what we are doing to our physical and emotional health.

The only possible way out of this vicious circle is the most obvious: work less. The limit of eight hours a day and five days a week is fair, even if there are jobs that need to be done one day less. If the physical, mental or emotional fatigue is too high, it is worth considering a 6-hour working day as the maximum limit.

Of course, we know that it is not easy and that two major obstacles can arise along the path of change. On the one hand, the fact that many bosses do not want employees to work less and, on the other, knowing how to convince themselves that working less is not a sign of weakness, but of intelligence.

As for the first problem, you can negotiate by organizing your work in order to complete the working day by dedicating the number of hours suggested for the more difficult tasks and leaving the remaining hours for the easier ones. As for the second obstacle, it is entirely up to you.

Three key tips for not overworking

To prevent work from becoming a never-ending activity, consuming the best moments of your life, and ruining your health, here are three ideas that might come in handy:

  • It is better to save more and work less. In most cases, the more you earn, the more you spend. For this reason, there is never enough money. If, on the other hand, you decide to commit yourself to continuous and substantial savings, the results obtained will surprise you. Maybe you need to learn to put aside the pleasure of spending and better manage your finances.
  • Listen to your body. No disease occurs suddenly, but develops little by little and sends many signals before manifesting itself. Don't be insensitive to what your body says. You must recognize the signs of fatigue and give them the right attention.
  • Recognize and accept your limitations. Maturity begins when one is able to recognize the limits of reality, starting with one's own limits. Maybe you want to triumph more than everyone else, but you can't do it in exchange for your health and well-being. By dedicating yourself to your work with pleasure, by establishing an "up to here" on your working day, you will have a better chance of achieving excellence in what you do. The money, even if it takes a little longer, will eventually come.
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