A while back I wrote about the fallacy that overwork meant better work. More and more, people in the business world are beginning to recognize that working 60 and 70 and 80 hours a week is not a virtue. Rather, it reveals certain weaknesses in the worker.

While there can be some short-term benefits to working overtime, there is a growing consensus that chronic overwork is counter-productive and bad for business.

For entrepreneurs, the danger is even greater. Too often, while giving our all, we will sacrifice our physical and emotional health (not to mention relationships with friends and family) on the altar of ambition. No doubt the stakes are high; however, there is great danger in giving way to the (usually inner) pressure to work those fingers to the bone.

A great article in the New York Times this week is a good reminder to all of us, whether you are a seasoned professional or young and just starting out in your career. Jonas Koffler describes his experience in “What I Learned From a Stroke at 26: Make Time to Untangle” and it’s an eye-opener. He’s a very lucky guy, first to have survived such a catastrophic health event, and second, because it forced him to learn at an early age how to balance a career he loves with a quality life. He learned about balance the hard way, but I’d say it’s borne some pretty good fruit:

“Overload is the way of work these days. It’s how the ambitious among us are hard-wired, and it’s quite dangerous, as my experience showed. But it’s also dangerous for us not to fully pursue — and give our all to — opportunities that move us forward. This is the dynamic tension we face in today’s creative economy.”

If you know you need to cut back those hours but can’t yet see how it’s possible, send me an email at Scott@doubledareyou.us and we can set up a time to talk.

photo credit: Steven Vacher Balancing Stones via photopin (license)