Too much work and not enough play makes …

Working too much? You might not have a choice. Employers are more and more demanding. If you’re in sales, you assume you pretty much need to be “on” all the time, lest you miss an opportunity. No wonder salespeople check email on vacation, first thing in the morning, and well after work hours.

I had a quick question for a colleague and called his mobile. He told me he was in the Seychelles. I asked why he was answering his phone while on vacation. He said he was returning home in a couple of days, so he needed to get back into things. He couldn’t resist the temptation to ensure he wouldn’t miss something important. That’s not healthy. We need breaks. We need vacation. We need to make time to be with our kids and our friends. We need to exercise.

I’ve been on the phone at odd hours with global clients, but those calls were planned. And vacation is MY time. That digital detox is good for me … and for my business.

I understand that selling is a full-time job, but consider the toll it takes on you—not just personally, but also professionally. Recent research shows that working longer hours decreases productivity and negatively impacts the quality of our work.

Matt Plummer and Jo Wilson outline other negative impacts in their recent HBR article. Here’s a snippet:

The Lie That Perfectionists Tell Themselves
by Matt Plummer and Jo Wilson

Many of us hold principles that keep us from pursuing a more productive lifestyle.

For example, one of the most common ones is the belief that increasing productivity, or getting the most out of your time, will decrease the quality of your work, or your ability to do tasks perfectly. In the online program we run to help working professionals develop more productive work behaviors, about half of our participants have agreed with the statement: “I’m sure I could get more done in less time, but the quality of my work would go down.”

You’ve probably experienced this in action: it’s 5:30 PM and you could probably just hit send on that last deliverable and leave work. But you figure you might as well spend 30 more minutes on it before sending, and you stay a bit later.

Did the extra half hour make that much of a difference? Perhaps, but it’s more likely that it just made you feel more confident in the quality of your work. And so we end up believing that spending more time on our work makes it better.

Read the rest of the article on

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