Over the last few months, more and more of the people I’ve spoken to have all felt the same: Exhausted. The two-years of the pandemic left most us feeling drained, despondent and running on empty, and then the human-hurricane of 2022 tore through us, before we’d had the chance to recharge, and completely combusted any fumes we had left.
So why are we all pushing ourselves to the brink? Maybe it’s because we’ve all felt that we’ve got 24 months of catching up to cram into one short year? Maybe we’re worried about the uncertainty the current economic crisis will bring to next year? Or maybe we’ve picked up bad working habits from the lockdown requirements that we just don’t seem to be able to shake off?
One thing is clear though- there are a lot of people suffering from burn-out and it’s crippling their professional lives, personal lives and their emotional wellbeing.
As someone who coaches professionals and entrepreneurs, I’m seeing this devasting trend at an acute level. And it’s not just with my friends, clients, and collaborators.
This year, The Harvard Business Review conducted a study of almost 200 in-depth interviews with 78 professionals from the London offices of a global law firm and an accounting firm. The majority of the men and women, from all levels within these businesses, all agreed that they saw their jobs as ‘highly demanding, exhausting, and chaotic, and they seemed to take for granted that working long hours was necessary for their professional success.’
It's no secret that overworking is unhealthy, yet more and more of us are ignoring the facts and shunning what our bodies are telling us. We seem to have cultivated a working trend where the more hours spent hammering the keys of our laptop equates to the higher position of prestige and professionalism; even though deep down, we all know this is short term thinking. We’re willingly overlooking the fact that none of us have time to reflect on the health and family impacts of overworking, and we’re sacrificing any free time we may have had to enjoy our lives outside of work. If you don’t make time for your health and family, you’d better make time for illness instead!
If we carry on along this trajectory, it will not end well. So, let’s stop, take stock and change the course of 2023.
I firmly believe that you should not feel guilty about investing in your wellbeing and health. Yes, most of us do need to work for financial reasons, but what good is money if you don’t have the health and time to enjoy it? We need to stop looking at rest, relaxation and enjoyment as being counter-productive to professional victory. In truth, they are actually the corner-stones of success in all areas of your life.
At this time of year, many of us are considering New Year’s Resolutions, and whilst I prefer structured goals to New Year’s resolutions, I encourage you to make this one: Make 2023 the year of balance. Set out clear goals that are not just about how many units you can sell, or how much profit your business makes, but ones that enable you to spend time with your loved ones, pursue your passions and improve your physical and mental wellbeing too.
At this point, I imagine that a few readers will already be saying “but I haven’t got time” or “how can I when I have too many responsibilities?” Please understand this- those comments are excuses, and damaging ones at that. Health and enjoyment are non-negotiables and without them, you will certainly not have the time or the ability to work at all.
If you want to end this cycle of overworking and start enjoying your life again, now is the time to set some exciting and rewarding goals for 2023. Investing a short amount of time creating a plan, will mean that you have a clear focus for the coming year, and you will have a far greater chance of accomplishing all your aims. As Abraham Lincoln famously said, “If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.”
To help give you some focussed time to do this, I will be running a free workshop on Thursday 12th January at my offices in Oakham, Rutland. During this 4-hour event, I will show you how to set yourself up for success in 2023, and demonstrate the tools that I have used in my business that give my team and I a healthy relationship to their work and a wonderful life outside of the office doors, all whilst maintaining incredible growth across the business.
Places are free of charge, but are limited to just 20 spots, so if you would like to attend, please get in touch as soon as possible on email@example.com or by calling 01572 898060.
I can’t wait to see you there and help you to break your cycle of overwork and exhaustion, and help set up an incredible 2023.