Resisting the Pressure to Overwork

We all face internal and external pressures to overwork. But to be fulfilled in your life and career, you need to push back against those forces.  First, understand that overwork is not necessary for professional success; if you find yourself triggered by others who believe it is, remind yourself of the truth with positive self-talk. Second, be clear on your values and follow them. Third, focus not on hustling to get ahead but on deeper goals and your craft. Fourth, find positive role models who have secured their achievement without overworking. And, finally, learn to ignore unreasonable requests, even when they come from the boss.

Few of us want to overwork. Even when our jobs feel meaningful, we’d prefer to work to live, not live to work. We benefit from also devoting time to other interests and hobbies, family and friends, leisure, and learning not related to our professions. Those are meaningful to us too.

Still, it’s easy get sucked (or suckered) into working too hard. To avoid this, you’ll need well-articulated strategies. Try these.

Understand that overwork is not necessary for success.

If you buy into that thinking, even just a tiny bit, you won’t be able to resist triggers, like others telling you about their overworking. This social pressure will activate your anxiety, with all the attendant emotional and physical reactions.

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