Career Advice – 5 Proven Reasons Why Working Long Hours Affects Your Productivity
Job Hunting Tips: 5 Proven Reasons Why Working Long Hours Affects Your Productivity

By Kibet Tobias

Do you work for long hours? Maybe you have a lot of work that you don’t get time to complete by the time others are going home. Maybe you are working so many hours because you want to make more money or are the only reliable expert in your job.

Whatever the reason is, there’s nothing wrong with that.  But you need to strike a balance between what is healthy and what is not.

According to a recent study, working for long hours, even for the right reasons, may damage your health and productivity. Here is why;

1. Working too long is a leading cause for poor decision making

Research has shown that when you are tired and overworked, you commit errors in your work.

For example, if you are a team leader who works when you feel exhausted you may not be able to exercise emotional intelligence well. You might misread body language hence end misjudging others causing a lot of friction within your team.

Also, if you deal with figures for my accounting professionals, you might find yourself misrepresenting the figures that can cost the whole company.

Related: 7 Things Successful People Do To Stay Productive

2. Long working hours can cause brain damage

Another survey indicates that professionals who work about 55 hours a week have poorer mental skills compared to those who work fewer than 40 hours. The report further claims that such people experience short-term memory and are unable to quickly recall words.

From the survey, if you continue working for long hours you can cause long-term damage to your brain, a condition called dementia.

As a workaholic, it is good to be cautious with your health. If you find yourself not recalling things faster than you were used to, do a favor to your brain. Consider taking a mental break, work for normal hours and get recharged.

3. It causes more stress

Remember it is very hard to be effective at work when you are stressed. You will agree with me that stress in the office is inevitable and at one point we have all had to deal with stress one way or another.

However, it has been revealed that most Kenyan professionals suffer from stress that is mainly caused by long working hours and work overload. You have to remember that apart from your job, there is a personal life to deal with, most importantly your family, diet, and friends.

If you spend most of your time in the office with an aim of being seen as productive, you may find yourself focusing on the job and forgetting your social life.

Working for long hours produce fewer results

There is no dispute on this. For example, if you are used to working for 50 hours a week compared to the required 40, do a review of the outcomes.

Most likely you will notice that working longer doesn’t necessarily produce desired results. This is because you will be continuously exhausted. The more exhausted you are, the less productive you become.

You will experience fatigue

I will not lie to you. I have been here and so I know. Working for long hours causes fatigue to come into your life. When you are fatigued you become sleepy, weary, easily irritated and vulnerable to sickness.

Most of the time, you will be unable to concentrate which is not good for your productivity.

In conclusion

We all work to succeed in life. But being successful doesn’t mean you should work for long hours. Instead of working hard, consider working smart by organizing your work well and planning your time. Take action today!

Tobias is a writer at Career Point Kenya. Contact Email: tobias@careerpointkenya.co.ke

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