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M3 Blog

Working overtime could backfire on you

Work is a priority for you. You are on top of your game and if you aren’t on the ball it could all come crashing down. But, at what point do you just relax?

There has to be a breaking point, but do you really want to hit rock bottom before you learn your lesson? The answer is simple. No, you don’t.

The work that you walk away from at the end of the day, or the end of the week will still be there on the next business day.

According to, the research is clear. Long hours backfire for people and companies.

In fact, a Harvard Business Review revealed, “If your job relies on interpersonal communication, making judgment calls, reading other people’s faces, or managing your own emotional reactions — pretty much all things that the modern office requires — there is more bad news. Researchers have found that overwork (and its accompanying stress and exhaustion) can make all of these things more difficult.”

Here’s what happens when you constantly put in overtime:

  • You are causing mental damage to yourself and your relationships.
  • You are at risk for getting sick, or worse – totally burned out.
  • You are at risk for high blood pressure or a cardiovascular health event.
  • You could also suffer from depression, impaired sleep and impaired memory.

We’re not saying you can’t be a hard worker or put in some long days. We’re saying to let go of the guilt, drive and pressure when you can.

Consider trying the following:

  • Turn off your cell phone when you can, especially when spending time with family.
  • Start the day with your most difficult task; you’ll then have less stress the rest of the day.
  • Stop thinking the world will end if you don’t finish everything on your list.
  • Learn to trust and delegate to your staff.
  • Weekends are for you and your family – prioritize.
  • If you live by your calendar, schedule breaks.
  • Take time to meditate, go for a walk or out for a non-work-related lunch when you can.

The smallest changes can make a big difference, and it will leave you with enough energy to keep climbing that corporate ladder.