Behavioral Science

Why Being a Workaholic is Dumb

by . October 21st, 2014

If you believe that crunching work 12-16 hours a day is all there is to life I urge you to read forward. Cause you definitely have a problem.

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Hear me out.

Modern society has a butt load of workaholism. We make it a contest of who gets to the office the earliest and leaves the latest. We award those who give up their social lives and personal interests just to have a good record sheet.

Don’t get me wrong. Passion for your work is great, but I think all this workaholism is extremely dumb. Working more doesn’t mean you make more. It’s just means you work more.

And it’s just not worth it. The amount of hours you add to work is peanuts compared to those lost through sickness, fatigue, and even life span due to stress. You may be working like a pro now, but once you burn out, you’re done for.

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When you have a problem, you just don’t rush in and throw hours at it. That’s like a king sending only shield-bashing sword-swinging knights to war. Study the problem. Send in your archers, your rogues, and your wizards too. Inelegant media calls inelegant solutions.

And worse is when workaholics see this as some giant vanity project. When your workaholics do it just to look like stars, that’s when it gets destructive. Some even unconsciously cause problems just to solve them.

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It just creates bad morale. How many times have you, at anything, have been talked down just because you weren’t performing as much as the nearby workaholic? For working at a pace you were comfortable with? A pace you excelled at? And because of that peer pressure, you stick in more hours without doing anything at all.

Not stepping back also makes you make irrational decisions. One of the most important lessons my dad taught us as kids (I believe I told you guys about this already) was when he covered our eyes with his hand and asked us if we saw anything. Of course we didn’t. He then asked us to step back. If you keep pushing yourself towards a wall, you’ll never see the door beside you.

Even science says workaholism is dumb.

We all learn the definition of work in regards to physics in middle school. It’s the amount of force (F) needed to displace something a certain amount.

Fourier Telescope

W=Fs

 

By exerting more force working for the same goal, all you do is spend more energy. However if you go for a higher goal with the same amount of work, the force should be less, allowing you to make smart surgical decisions. You’re not being perfectionist. You’re worrying over tiny details that probably don’t matter as much as moving forward.

If you really want to do something meaningful, step back, take a deep breath, and find a more efficient way to do things.

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