We’ve all heard the old adage “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” but do those extra hours really matter?
According to a recent study by Louen Business School in France, being a workaholic can actually be beneficial. Whether that additional work is good for you depends on your motivation.
Motivators for Burning the Midnight Oil
How is working too much a good thing? It stands to reason there are two schools of thought.
Healthy Reasons for Working Overtime:
- Motivated by a love for the job
- Sense of pride in accomplishment
- Works overtime to make a difference in performance
Stressful Reasons for Working Overtime:
- Required to work overtime either by a demanding boss or peer pressure
- Motivated only by a need for extra money
If you are burning the midnight oil for the “healthy” reasons listed above, you are most likely enhancing your well being. Not only are you getting in good with the boss by taking on additional projects and working extra, you are also increasing your productivity. These might lead to increased pay and promotions. When you are a self-motivated workaholic, your company can see the benefits. You might even be energized by your workaholic tendencies.
However, if you are putting in extra time due to negative motivators you might just be overworked. There’s a big difference between working too much and being overworked. The latter comes with external negative motivators; logically, this can lead to stress related health problems.
If this is the case, are you missing out with friends and family? Do you have time to enjoy leisure activities, including hobbies and exercise? It all boils down to work-life balance.
Cambridge online dictionary defines work-life balance as “the amount of time you spend doing your job compared with the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy.” Does that resonate with you?
Remember that work-life balance does not mean equal balance for work and personal activities. In fact, trying to schedule equal hours for each is counterproductive. It is more important to determine the right mix.
Work-life balance does not stay the same throughout your life. Single and carefree? Great. Work all the hours that make you and your employer happy. Just got a puppy? Your may need to shift your work-life balance while you train your new family member. Getting married, having children, and even having house guests will change your work-life balance for a time. Your project load and level of responsibility at work will also make a difference.
There’s no perfect equation for how many hours you should put in at the office. Studies aside, you’ve got to figure out what works for you based on your personal circumstances, your workload, how efficient you are when in the office, and what you have going on in your personal life.
Work hard. Being a workaholic can mean success in your career and in your life. It doesn’t make Jack a dull boy, especially when you figure out your personal work-life balance.