More often than not, the workday starts early and ends late for entrepreneurs. Staying late at the office, especially for early-stage startup founders seems like a badge of honor … par for the course, right?!
However, you’re not a machine. If you aren’t managing your time well, delegating tasks, and prioritizing your schedule … in the long run your business will suffer.
Here’s a look at 5 reasons why you should leave the office at a decent hour today.
1. Chronic fatigue impedes decision making
Time limits are better motivators than the “work until it’s perfect” approach. Working long hours leads to chronic fatigue which impairs decision making.
Michael Hyatt explains that, “When our physical energy slumps, so does the quality of our decisions. But here’s what we sometimes forget: Making decisions actually drains our physical energy. It becomes a vicious cycle.”
2. Lack of sleep decreases productivity
New research from the National Sleep Foundation found that people from 26 to 64 need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Less or more hours out of this range can cause short-term decreases in alertness and impaired memory.
Simply put, “If you haven’t slept, you might as well just make a random choice.” If you are only focused on today, then you’re missing the big picture. Over time your personal well-being will suffer … and so will your business.
Overworking cuts into your sleep cycle and lowers productivity. More importantly, your sleep-deprived leadership influences the work environment of your team and company culture. A leader who looks too tired and perpetually irritated doesn’t make his or her employees feel secure.
3. Insufficient sleep causes health problems
Sleep deprivation, according to various medical sources, puts you at risk of:
Inability to control weight loss or weight gain
Low vision, dimness, and tunnel vision
Weakened immune system
Liability to infections and colds
Excessive urine production
Development of hypotension or hypertension
Memory and concentration problems
Stress and long-term depression
4. Sleep loss and lack of prioritization adds stress to relationships
The conflict between work and family life is one of the most common sources of stress for entrepreneurs. You may be running your dream business, but it certainly is not more important than your family and those you love. This rings particularly true for parents running businesses; finding ways to prioritize your work and life is key to a happy and healthy home environment.
There is no golden rule on how to prioritize things since each person has unique experiences and differing external needs placed on them by others. However, having the conversation and being open to make changes is a great first step.
5. Being overworked leads to burnout
Sooner or later, being overworked leads to burnout.
According to Psychology Today, “Burnout is one of those road hazards in life that high-achievers really should be keeping a close eye out for, but sadly—often because of their ‘I can do everything’ personalities—they rarely see it coming. Because high-achievers are often so passionate about what they do, they tend to ignore the fact that they’re working exceptionally long hours, taking on exceedingly heavy work loads, and putting enormous pressure on themselves to excel—all of which make them ripe for burnout.”
Staying late at the office on a consistent basis will most likely yield a negative outcome. If you don’t take conscious control of your own work hours, the work hours can easily take control of you.
This article has been edited.
Veronica Hunt is a young mom, an edtech expert and an experienced content marketer from Philadelphia. As a blogger, she sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info in the spheres of digital marketing, entrepreneurship and psychology. Currently, works for StudentShare as a content manager. Apart from work, she adores traveling and yoga. Connect with @VeronicaHuntt on Twitter.
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