I have a confession to make: I’ve been working stupidly. For a while now, I’ve been working all hours. Sometimes I start at 5am and end at 7pm. Sometimes I put in 60 hours and then work another 10 on the weekend. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night and check my email.
Quite frankly, this is DUMB. I realized how dumb when I started at 9am and left at 6pm a couple of days last week and then did NOT work more at home. You know what happened when I did that? I was more productive. Yup. I got more work done at a higher quality when I cut time OFF my day. I spent last week producing a kick-butt set of graphs and various other analyses that are going to make up a foundational document for my role.
At the same time, however, I felt horrendously guilty. There I was, waltzing out of the office at 6 to go home, read a book, and recharge, and there my co-workers were, still in the office. Still toiling away at their desks. Even knowing that I’m a better asset when I restrict my hours, I felt awful leaving.
I know that restricting my hours makes sense. When I restrict my hours, all sorts of things happen:
- I am able to work crazy hours and get crazy things done during emergencies, because my tank isn’t empty.
- I am a much smarter person! My insights are brilliant, my documents beautifully written, and my analyses are razor-sharp. (Well, smarter, better, and sharper, anyhow.)
- I am easier to get along with. I don’t snap at folks as often.
- I understand what my co-workers are saying much faster.
- I have a better attention span.
- I have time to geek out reading all the new leadership books and resources.
I’m hoping that, by writing this post, I can stop being dumb. I can stop buying into the cult of overwork and be more valuable to my company, my co-workers, and my spouse. I also secretly (well, not secretly any more) hope that my co-workers read this and start leaving the office at sane hours, but I need to realize that I am responsible for my own actions. Therefore, I need to leave the office at a reasonable hour, limit working from home, and STOP BEING STUPID.