A sanity check for people that work beyond the 9 to 5

I know a lot of people that work above and beyond the regular work day — I’m one of these people. I feel like the way it’s perceived is this mix of admiration and pity. It can feel really alienating when the 50/50 work-life balance and well-being is becoming quite a trendy topic of conversation.

On sunny days, I call “passion” and on cloudy days, it’s “workaholism”. I think there’s a sandbox in which it doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

Anchors

This way of working isn’t about instant rewards but it is about speed and with it — the common traps I’ve found myself in are spinning hamster wheels, a sense of martyrdom and vanity hours. Here’s a digestable sanity check:

There just isn’t enough time in a day

  • Just as there is a time to hustle, there’s also time to rest and refuel. A good meal and a shower is amazing cool down time for reflection.
  • Hours of hard work must be well spent and productive, and ultimately, contribute to excellent work. Spinning hamster wheels serves no cause.

Why is this feeling so difficult to work through?

  • We aren’t martyrs — if we are suffering, we stop and try a different approach. There’s a difference being challenged and being overwhelmed.

Why the hell am I doing this?

  • We are compelled by the challenge, subject matter or larger outcome — money and time is, to a degree, irrelevant. This is as close as I’ll get to the phrase, “love what you do” — sometimes we love the most ridiculous things.