All Work and No Play Means Trouble

For many of us, twenty-four hours is not enough in a single day! With classes, internships, jobs, and the hope of a social life, each of us is cramming as much as we can every day. While we are trying to keep up during this highly competitive age, working too much has some negative, lingering effects.

CNN, Fortune, and the Today Show have been investigating what happens when people overwork themselves. Ellen Langer, a psychologist at Harvard University, finds that a vacation is essential for mindfulness, which is mediating in a non-judgmental way. This allows individuals to be present while clearing their minds and has plenty of health benefits, like lowering both heart rate and blood pressure.

In the article, “How Many Hours Should You Be Working?” author Laura Vanderkam helps workaholics decide how much work is too much. She quotes the authors of Rework, saying that workaholics aren’t the heroes but that the real hero is at home because she figured out a faster way to get everything done. While a study of Italian CEO’s found that working more hours does increase overall productivity, it is contingent upon how these hours are spent. For example, when executives spend more hours meeting with employees, productivity increases, but not when they meet with clients or outside vendors.

A recent segment on the Today Show highlighted the problems with overworking yourself. When juggling so many balls in the air, the one that usually drops is your own. This segment explained how women are at a greater risk for depression, arthritis, cancer, and other chronic illnesses than men. In their quest to have it all, a career, a family, women often neglect their own health. The Healthy Woman’s Forum, held for the first time this year in Princeton, NJ, offered solutions and suggestions for workaholic women. One idea was for women to join an exercise group or find some kind of hobby just for themselves. In the end, it is all about balancing your priorities.
It is extremely hard to shut down the computer, turn off the phone, and just unwind. Most of us have this ridiculous fear that we will miss some amazing opportunity or not respond fast enough to the “oh-so” important email. But, at the end of the day, our health, sanity, and well-being must be put first. There is nothing wrong with working hard, but we all must strike a balance between work and play.

Are you a workaholic? Do you think there are ways you can change to better yourself?

To read more on the benefits of taking a vacation, click here.

To read more on the value of your time, click here.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Alex Crispino.

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