Are you spending too much time at the office?

The classic hustler story is of a young entrepreneur possessed of zeal who goes days without sleep working on a project that after many years yields them great profit. During that time, all other concerns such as family responsibilities, food and healthcare miraculously vanish. How else could you explain someone working for a month without sleep?

A man typing at a laptop in an office
Late night at work aren’t always a good thing

Unfortunately this story is the type that makes the rounds at motivational speakers’ events. So much so that some people start feeling guilty about applying for their annual leave days (which they are legally entitled to). If their heroes went without rest, who are they to take time off to recuperate and spend time with their families. The fear seems to be if they are not in the office working where the boss can see them or killing themselves every night on a personal project, then they are not working at all.

It is often said that “No one said I wish I had spent more hours in the office at the end of their life.” Read the words in quotation marks again very carefully. I want to make sure they sink in. A life which was dedicated only to work will be a sad one indeed.

Charts and a calculator
You’ve done well today. Time to clock out.

There will be days when some extra effort will be needed at work. There might be a few times when you have to work at night. Yet if those times become you every day then you seriously have a problem with time management.

There is reason why you have an office. It’s so you can have a place to work uninterrupted for a few hours each day. There is a reason why you have office hours. It’s so you can go home at the end of the day having completed some very important tasks and get some rest.

A colourful office
Don’t forget to leave at the end of the day

Your productivity will actually skyrocket if you make  time at the end of the day for your hobbies. Read a book, watch a series, drink tea, spend time with your spouse, help your children with their homework and finally, get some rest. These are not the hours you should be working. You will be happier and return the next day ready to tackle the problems from the previous day with a fresh perspective.

All I’m saying is work hard, but please make time for the things that matter. Don’t become the old person who wishes they had made more time to spend with their son at the end of their life or who wishes they had done more painting over the weekend. Everyone is different. Find the balance that works for you.

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