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Are Workaholics Really More Productive?

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If you’re an entrepreneur who believes that longer work hours mean you’ll get more done, you may be wrong. While running a business takes commitment and hard work, being “on the job” 24/7 won’t necessarily increase your productivity. Why not?

Here are four reasons workaholics may not be more productive than hardworking business owners who stick to set work hours.

Being Busy Isn’t The Same As Being Productive

Being busy may not mean you’re completing what needs to be done, or even that you’re doing it well. Workaholics actually may be ineffective, according to a Psychology Today article on the connection between working hard and workaholism. This is because they’re poor team members who have a hard time delegating work, and end up overcommitted and therefore more disorganized than others.

Brains Need a Break

Stress, sleep deprivation and lack of exercise are hallmarks of workaholics, and they actually hinder the generation of creative ideas, according to a recent study of 1,385 people by online psychological assessment firm PsychTests. And a large UK study of 21,000 employees found that elevated stress levels and lack of sleep lowered productivity in the workplace. Essentially, workaholics never give their brains the rest required to create new ideas or focus on the task at hand, resulting in poor productivity.

Your Health Can Suffer

A British study found that those who work 55 hours a week or more were 33 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke compared with those who clocked 35 to 40 hours per week. There was also a significant increase of 10 per cent in heart attacks and other cardiac health issues. Stressful environment, too much sitting and poor diets are being looked at as contributing factors to the health risks of long work weeks.

Prioritizing Yields Results

To help prevent your workaholic tendencies from sabotaging your productivity, try the following:

  • Set work hours and stick to them.
  • Schedule and commit to regular fresh air and exercise (to help you sleep better).
  • Prioritize your work activities to start with those that will yield the most productive results.
  • Say no to commitments requiring longer work hours.
  • Don’t answer emails or phone calls outside of your set work hours or when you’re on vacation.
  • Don’t forget to schedule family, friend and community social time.

Workaholics who are also entrepreneurs are especially at risk for sleep problems, elevated stress levels, and poor personal and work relationships due to impatience with others. After all, you don’t have a boss to help curb your workaholic tendencies. It’s up to you to change your behaviour. Remember, workaholism may not only hamper today’s productivity, it may even work against your future business success.