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Working long hours does not make you more productive

Friday November 16 2018

Being a workaholic does not guarantee a successful career.

Being a workaholic does not guarantee a successful career. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Q. I read lots of self-help books, and they all talk about the importance of having a healthy work-life balance. They however don’t say how one can stand out at work and get a promotion without becoming a workaholic. As it is, I put in long hours at work at the expense of a social life.


There are many components of our lives that are important for us to lead happy lives - a healthy work-life balance plays a significant part in this. Human beings don’t live in isolation. We are surrounded by family, friends, colleagues and others who play a key role in our lives.

Being a workaholic does not guarantee a successful career, and it is the wrong strategy to apply to get a promotion. Within no time, you will be stressed, burned out and you will most likely hate your job and your employer, moreover, you will have no friends or family to comfort you since you had no time for them.

Instead, strive to work smarter, managing your time better - resting and ultimately being productive is what will make your boss notice you. I have come across many hardworking employees who put in many hours to impress yet their output is negligible.

Stop killing yourself with work, remember that your job is based on a labour contract that can come to an end anytime. It is therefore important to distribute your time evenly to your work, self, family and friends, as each play an important role in your life.


I also encourage that you take leave without fail as it is provided for you to rest and rewind. Also work towards reducing your workload so that you can free your time for other commitments. Delegate more to your team or colleagues. Observe standard working hours unless there is need to attend to urgent unavoidable tasks that require more time, though this should be the exception than the norm.

Also discuss possibility for some flexible work arrangements such as working from home once a week, reporting and leaving early or late to avoid traffic, or scheduling meetings that stretch into your free time though with reasonable exceptions.

Spend more time with family and friends and develop a routine to stay fit and healthy. This will increase your productivity. The fact is that pushing your body hard without enough rest is likely to lead to a breakdown.

Sadly, at that point, even that job you love so much will not help you.