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What Working Long Hours Does for Your Body and Your Career

So, you think working long hours is helping your career? Think again. When not well managed, with good stress recovery balance planned in, working exceptionally long hours can also be damaging to your health.

Does working long hours make you more productive?

You may think that working long hours makes you more productive, but science has recently proven otherwise. A researcher named John Pencavel recently performed a study that showed the exact opposite. The more hours you work, the less productive you become within those hours.

The tipping point is 50 hours a week. When you work more than 50 hours a week, your output starts to drop and you become less productive. The study showed that a person working for 70 hours a week was only as productive as a person working for 56 hours a week. The study additionally showed that if you do not take a day off during the week, your productivity will be further damaged. This means that while you might think you are impressing your boss by working long hours, you will not be producing any more than someone working quite a lot fewer hours.

What should you do instead?

Part of the reason this happens is due to a lack of time allocated to stress recovery, and consequently, a failure to achieve stress recovery balance. Additionally, if you do not make time for stress recovery, your body will start to suffer, and will eventually be exhausted, when you reach the point of burn out.

The lesson to be taken from this is that your body needs some time for deep relaxation each week to ensure stress recovery balance can be attained. Since working exceptionally long hours will not help you any more than working slightly long hours, it is best to assign some time to truly relax for the sake of your job and your health.

We offer coaching and support to help improve sleep, recovery and resilience for greater personal effectiveness. Contact us or visit our Solutions to find out how.

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