Determine Is working too hard a bad thing?
Hard work can be a wonderful thing. Since the dawn of civilization people have felt the need to conquer new lands, chart unknown territories, and provide a fulfilling future for ourselves and our families. The desire to work hard for what we want, and need, is morally uplifting and personally gratifying. But, is there such a thing as working “too hard”? For more on this, read this article ons dealing with stress.
The desire to succeed is so deeply embedded into the psyche of humans that we don’t realize it can be detrimental to our goals, relationships and health. This article illuminates the hidden pressures that come from working too hard and marks some pitfalls to avoid. I hope this will both encourage and challenge you to prioritize your life, goals, and relationships to allow for a healthier and more fulfilled life.
Thanks for reading!
Do you get a thrill out of success?
Are you often called a workaholic?
Do you thrive on achievement?
Are you always trying to better your previous outcome?
Do you win at all costs?
Are you task driven (sometimes at the expense of other people)?
Do you live to work?
As you read the above questions what did you answer?
If you can honestly self-reflect and you answer most of the above questions “Yes” then it may be time for a review. It may be time to review your work-life balance and also the way you lead your team. If you are always charging ahead, how often do you actually take time to review the past and where you have come from?
Though I do not answer “Yes” to all these questions above, I do trend towards being achievement focused. There are many good points about being achievement focused. These include the desire to improve the world, the ability to deliver a high level of outcomes from your teams, ability to set and achieve goals and you can also be relied on to get the job done. If you are a high achiever, you may also be the person that people come to when they need someone they can rely on to get an important task or job completed.
While there is an upside, there is also a downside….
If the downside is not balanced or well managed, then our good work and achievements are going to be undermined and undone. The downside can include:
- Placing too much pressure on oneself and becoming overwhelmed
- Can overload other with tasks and expectations, in particular our teams
- Achieving success at work at the expense of family and personal life
- Forgetting the value of people, seeing them instead as units of production
- Can see oneself as superior to others, both intellectually and in terms of ability
- When not successful in something, take it personally and over emphases the negatives
- Can chase success for the sake of success and not for the actual outcomes
So as a high achiever what can we do?
In what ways can we ensure that value our people and also see that our value comes from more than just achievement? We need to be able to reflect on our behaviors. In this reflection we need to ensure we take a good honest look at ourselves. This may also involve bringing in others to help us. This could be a loved one, a valued friend or a coach. I would encourage you to reflect on two areas as a high achiever. The first is about tasks and the second is about people.
In terms of tasks I would suggest starting with these questions:
- What are you working on at this point in time?
- Are these tasks and projects in accordance with your life’s mission?
- Do these tasks and projects represent a holistic approach (i.e. family, personal, work and community) across your life?
- If not, what can you do to correct this?
In terms of people I would suggest staring with these questions:
- How do you treat people that we come in contact with?
- Determine how you treat your family
- How do we treat our staff at work?
- What are our expectations?
- How do we treat people that make a mistake?
- What do we need to do differently in the future?
Moving forward, hopefully we can continue to be high achievers.
However now I hope that we can ensure we maintain our health, mental well being, family and connections with the community. Living a balanced life, along with treating people right, make for a happier you…
Original article by Atilla Ovari at People Development magazine