In the US, we get 10 Federal Holidays a year. With the 4th of July around the corner, it is important to discuss the importance of rest and relaxation. How many times have you heard some overused sales or ‘business’ maxims such as, “pressure can burst pipes but it can also make diamonds,” or “work like there’s someone working 24 hours to take it all away,” or perhaps “work when the competition is sleeping (on holiday)”? Well, pressure will burst you before you become a diamond, unless you’re a paranoid freak this isn’t true and you could but is it doing anything? On Memorial Day, I was following a ‘Guru’ who posted live he was in the office working harder than anyone else and produced a ‘balanced schedule’ to prove that he had great time management skills…while he was doing this I followed his feeds which were auto generating posts on different platforms with similar messages. You know what I noticed when I checked back an hour later? His were the only ads in the feed I was following. This tells me two things: 1) he was the only person actively participating and running ads and 2) his message wasn’t being heard by anyone as no one else was online. He was wearing his overworked life as a badge of honor and all I could do was pity him.
Preaching a lifestyle as if it were the way when even your betters were taking the day proves ego runs your life not sound business strategy. He may have a great success story, he may have millions, and he may appear to be happy yet promoting to an echo chamber where he was the only one there was a sad statement. It’s like he didn’t get the memo that there is a need for work life balance and unfortunately, we've had several clients subjected to the same bad mentality. Well, if you’re a small business owner here’s the memo: run your business like a business and you’re sales coach is an idiot. Here’s why:
1) Working too hard ruins your health
Several recent studies have shown that working more than 55 hours a week increases risk of stroke, diabetes, heart attack, sleep disorders and heavier drinking. If you are not performing at your peak day-in and day-out you run the risk of burning out and failing to deliver on your goals.
2) Working too hard damages your creativity and productivity
If your health is suffering due to stress and overwork, it has been shown this leads to problems with cognitive function and hampers quality work, slowing creativity and productivity. In other words: without your health your extra 15-20 hours a week is a waste of time.
3) Working too hard shows you aren’t working S.M.A.R.T.
If you’re overworked you are setting the wrong types or quality of goals. It is indicating you are missing one if not all of the specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely aspects of the goal.
4) Working too hard indicates you cannot delegate
A smart worker and/ or leader knows which task they are good at and which they are not. The ones they are not good at need to be delegated. If this has been done and there is no one left to delegate then you have identified a gap that needs to be filled sooner than later.
5) Working too hard shows you can’t prioritize
Like the old adage of the professor with the cup, rocks, sand and water, everything has its place at your job and in your life. If working too hard is a badge of honor, there may be something wrong with a prioritization system that destroys your health, productivity, strategy and leadership skills. What does that say about your judgment?
Life is short and you have a lot to accomplish. You’re ambitious and have the tenacity, grit and courage to go after what you want ̶ however, it all means nothing if you can’t enjoy the ride. Success means you have time for leisure not being enslaved to your work. Enjoy your Holiday!
Armour Martin Consulting LLC provides premium online content to help business leaders grow confidently in their business and see results in 90 days.
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