How to survive a 60-hour workweek. I read somewhere recently that Singapore is the hardest working nation in the world and I think this is true. Certainly, compared with my previous home in Spain, the work ethic here seems to be off the charts.
People I meet, and certainly many of my patients, regularly tell me that they put in 60+ hour work weeks. This is not without a cost and every year we are seeing more and more health-related issues that can be traced directly to this sedentary lifestyle of technology and stress.
If you are deskbound for this number of hours, you may be feeling overworked and anxious, or you may be coping and for you, it just feels normal. Everyone has differing levels of resilience, but what we do know is that this intensity inevitably takes its toll, both mentally and physically.
Of course, if our people are being affected like this, then this must inevitably affect their quality of life and at work lead to a drop in productivity, both in terms of quality and quantity. As we see more and more effects of ‘burnout’ come to the surface, characterized by apathy, loss of focus, stress and even depression, it is becoming increasingly evident that we must be proactive in this area.
Reflection is key
Today I’d like to ask you to reflect a little on your situation. Of course many will say that they have no choice, and if they don’t put the hours in then someone else will. That indeed may be the case but pushing yourself to burnout will ultimately help no one and eventually, something will have to give.
So. Let’s take a quick look at what we can do about this. The hours you put in may not be optional, but many other aspects of your life are. I’ve put together a list of actions you can start to implement immediately, that, given time to work, will change things for the better. But obviously, like most other ‘healthy initiatives’, they will only work if you give them a try. Also, show faith in allowing them time to work. Here’s my list of 10 tips to help you not only ‘survive the 60-hour workweek’ but to actually thrive with this lifestyle.
1) Remember what it is all about
Too many of us spend much of our time spinning the hamster wheel of life, detached from our loved ones, chasing some notional idea of the future. This is a huge shame as what is important in life is not so much the destination but more the journey. They say that we should ‘stop and smell the roses’ sometimes, well that may be just about the best advice you will ever get.
Earning more and more money is a very poor indicator of future happiness. What really matters is spending QUALITY TIME with those you love. The one regret that people have later in life is not that they didn’t earn more money, but they didn’t make the most of what they had, and especially from not valuing and nurturing those close family relationships. This IS the most important thing, so give them more of yourself. They won’t be around forever
2) Take frequent breaks
There’s much science supporting this basic life strategy. We need to rest our mind and our body if we are going to be f