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Everything in Moderation - Including Work

 

Do you believe you can overwork? Common definitions of overworking are to work too much, too hard, or too long but what is too much, too hard, or too long?


You can be working in your business or job and loving your work so much that the time you spend never feels like it’s too much, too hard, or too long, so what then?


I like to think of it in the context of whether I am working so much, so hard, or so long that it is adversely affecting other parts of my life like my physical, mental, and emotional health and my relationships with others and myself. That’s when I know I’m overworking.


I grew up believing “everything in moderation”, but interestingly this wisdom did not apply to work. The belief that we must work hard to succeed resonated deeply, and I began using it as a strategy to gain success in my life and it worked for a long time until it didn’t.


Why did it fail? I didn’t apply it in moderation. If I wanted more success, I just tweaked the work factor of the equation and created more wins, not realising that the success I was experiencing came with strings attached, like stress and ill health and damage to my relationships.


I knew there were other ways of working because I had read about them in the 90s in books like Jack Collis’ Work Smarter Not Harder, so my appetite was awakened. I have continued to read and explore alternate strategies for success over the decades.


In the current world, I have been presented with umpteen examples of how you don’t always have to work hard* to succeed, and yet sometimes I still find myself returning to my old belief system and end up overworking.


Why? For many of us, a lot of our identity and our self-worth gets tied up in what we produce and create. The more I work, the better I feel about myself, so it’s unsurprising that working a lot can be alluring. Many of us also want to avoid other parts of our lives so work can be a “legitimate” alternative to dealing with whatever is upsetting. Or maybe we struggle to say no at work or home and decide that we would rather just do the work than deal with the fallout of saying no.


I love the idea of exploring different and smarter ways of working. When I equate success with the amount of work I do, then my brain shuts down to my creative exploration and only follows the formula: work hard = success and want to work more.


If you’re interested in coming on an exploration with me about how we can enjoy success without overworking in the future, continue to hang out with me in my blogs.

*Acknowledging we all have and are entitled to our own definitions of what working hard means.

 

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