• Longer hours result in less productivity and efficiency
  • Overworking negatively impacts your mental, physical and social health
  • Kick-ass at work but disconnect at the end of the day to rest and recover
Ahhh, the joys of working remotely from home.

No more dealing with asshole drivers on the commute to and from the office.

Working in your PJs or even going pantless during the day is pretty awesome too.

It started out as the perfect nirvana with work being done remotely with the support of all the tech available to make it happen.

So long as you had a laptop and an internet connection, you could do your work from the comfort of your home.

It’s supreme flexibility.

The great thing about working remotely is that you could work anytime from pretty much anywhere.

The worst thing about working remotely is that you could work anytime from pretty much anywhere.

Meaning, you can’t get away from all of the bullshit.

It’s always right there at your fingertips, just a few clicks away on the laptop or phone.

When you had to commute back home at the end of the day, you had a clear and distinct transition that helped you to mentally and physically detach and disconnect from work.

However, with work from home, you don’t have this transition. Work is home and home is work. And what ends up happening is you work well past the end of the day and into the evening.

You end up overworking well past your prime for the day and it’s this overworking that causes issues.

Why Remote Overworking Doesn’t Work

We’re gonna be straight up with you. You're not fooling anyone by replying to work emails at midnight or logging in on the weekends just so you can get more done.

Here's the thing: over the long run, overworking doesn't work.

Yes, in the short term, it does get you ahead or less behind, depending on your circumstances. However, as with anything in life, there are consequences to everything, especially when it’s taken to extremes.

Here are some of the biggies.

1) Productivity Tanks After 50 Hours A Week

If you're slaving away in a cubicle or remotely from home, working excess overtime isn't hard to do, especially when you’re in the zone. But, all that extra time working isn't necessarily a good thing.

This Stanford University study has proven that after about 50 hours for the week or 10 hours for the day, your mental focus goes down the shitter and as a result, so does your productivity. And, the more hours you put in, the worse it gets.

You know what this is like.

You’re so mentally fatigued that the sentence you just read doesn’t register and so you end up having to read it several times to sink in - totally inefficient. 

2) Downtime For Mental Recovery Is Wiped Out

You know when your body is sore from doing some new exercise? Kinda like after playing tennis or lifting weights for the first time in a long time?

The soreness is your body’s way to heal and recover your muscle fibers from the workout.

The same idea happens for the gray matter between your ears. When you’re working all the mental gears in your head, it needs some downtime to recover.

We all have enough chaos running through our minds that burdening it with more work just makes things a lot worse. You’ll get batty or in really bad situations, have anxiety attacks.

This is when you need to give your mind a break from all the madness. You need to start meditating at work to ease the stress.

3) Lose Out On Fun Activities That Bring Joy

When you spend all of your free personal time on work, you leave nothing for the things that you enjoy doing.

Having time away from work and diving into your favorite hobbies or activities really amps up your joy and really helps you manage work stress like a champ.

All of your feel-good hormones get released and they help to offset all of the bad vibes from the day or week.

When you can’t get fun time for yourself, you start to get frustrated and pissed off more easily and more often at random little things that previously would never have set you off.

4) Negatively Affects Personal Relationships

It’s common knowledge that relationships require constant work and attention to keep things healthy and happy.

When you don’t dedicate the time to nurture your relationship, things can turn sour pretty quickly. In fact, people who work more than 55 or 60 hours a week have a much higher chance of broken relationships.

And relationship struggles just make life that much harder.

It puts you in a shitty mood, even resentful about your relationship and life. And, it can turn you into a bitchy asshole that nobody wants to be around. It creates a downward spiral.

5) Significantly Increases Stress And Burnout

There’s no avoiding tough weeks. You know the kind. It’s where you’re doing nothing but putting out fires all week at work.

These kinds of days are unavoidable and you do have to put in extra hours to sort out and fix all the problems. But, it’s not an all-the-time thing.

However, when you treat every day or week like it’s an emergency disaster when it’s really not, you’re just exposing yourself to more unnecessary stress. And, it’ll lead to burnout.

When it gets bad, you’ll feel like quitting and tossing in the towel.

6) Impacts Your Physical Health & Well-being

When you’re spending the majority of your waking hours taxing your head with more work, you’re not giving your brain a break. You’re constantly triggering a flow of stress hormones and this messes you up.

This study from the World Health Organization concluded that “working 55 or more hours per week is associated with an estimated 35% higher risk of a stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, compared to working 35-40 hours a week.”

Put more simply, the excess hours you work now are simply taken from your life later.

Nobody is on their deathbed wishing that they had worked harder or longer - that’s the truth.

7) You Miss Out On Life

Do you remember how summer vacations as a kid felt like they lasted forever?

That’s because time moves slower relative to one’s age. And, as you get older, time just seems to fly by much faster.

Where did the last year go?

Or, how in the hell did a decade just go by?

When you’re doing nothing but work during your non-working hours, you’re losing out on enjoying life itself.

You work to live, not live to work.

Read that sentence again.

Ferris Bueller said it best, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Get Outside To Disconnect & Stop Overworking

It’s not easy to stop working when you’re working remotely from home.

It’s not like leaving the office and trying to stay awake through the commute home to make it in time for dinner.

There is no commute home.

Everything is still right there in front of you. You can just keep banging on the keyboard and knocking out emails and putting together presentation decks.

So, in the absence of a commute, you need something to trigger the end of the day when you’re working from home. And, the best kind of trigger is one that gets your ass out of the house.

When you physically get outside, it immediately changes your environment and helps to reset and clear your head.

1) Go For A Walk Around The Block

When you’re sitting on your ass all day long at home, you’re not giving your body any chances to move around and stay flexible.

If you can’t do micro-exercises during the day, then you gotta get up off your ass and go for a simple walk at the end of the day.

Not only will it help to get your body moving, but it’ll also help to clear your mind of all the bullshit from the day.

2) Grab Some Grub With Your Bestie

Don’t wait until your hangry to get some grub. When it’s officially COB, log off and head out to your fav local eatery, get dinner and catch up with your best friend.

Ideally, it’d be a dine-in place with your bestie so that you can really get yourself out of the house for a couple of hours. This way, you’re giving yourself some fun time with your friend and real downtime away from the laptop.

If it’s a solo night and a take-out kinda place, bring it back home and pair it up with a wine meditation to really close out of the day. Or if you’re into hops more than grapes, there’s always beer meditations too.

3) Play With Your Kids Or Pets Outside

Keeping your kids busy when you’re WFH isn’t easy, but it’s gotta be done so that you can get work done. But this means, that most of your attention is given to your laptop over your kids (or pets) during the day, it’s time to make up for the imbalance.

Wrap up what you’re doing by 5pm and go play outside with your kids and/or pets. Play tag, throw the ball, chase each other around, etc.

Some simple playtime is all you need to defeat the urge to continue tapping on the keyboard for work.

4) Do A Fake Commute Joy Ride

Some habits get so ingrained in you that without them, they can throw things off. This can include your traditional commute home.

Make like you need to “beat the traffic” and grab your car keys and head out.

And this time, instead of having to deal with asshole drivers on the commute, you can go for a joy ride along a scenic road nearby - even better if you can time it so that you can catch the sunset.

5) Knock Out A Few Errands

Every week there are always routine errands that have to get done.

So, why not get two things done at once?

You can head out at the end of the workday and clear an errand or two and this will get you out of the house for an hour or so.

The beauty of this is that when you knock out errands during the week, you won’t have to do them on the weekends, which will make your weekends feel longer.

Less Remote Overwork & More Happiness

It's officially the end of the workday and you're still sitting at your desk contemplating whether to keep at it or not. There are a bunch of urgent things that still need to get done, but now, you know better.

You know that the work will always be there and will be waiting for you the next day. And, you know that life is more than about work.

It’s about family, friends and your own well-being and happiness.

The mouse pointer drifts over to the log-off button and with one little click, you’ve officially hit the end-of-day circuit breaker to close out a strong and productive day.

And, you’re not fretting over it one bit.

You’ve kicked ass for the day and now, you deserve the downtime.

It’s your time to relax and decompress.

Feel Better,

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