This morning I was watching a motivational video from a popular entrepreneur and I was going along with it and nodding my head in agreement the whole time until he dropped the fact that he’s been working 19 hours a day for the last 20 years.
Now, he is very successful, but I would argue that if you work 19 hours a day at anything (or even 12 or 15 or less), you’re going to stress yourself out and ruin your mental health.
In my opinion, it’s just not worth it, and it’s not necessary.
We live in a culture where being busy is praised as hard-working, but I think we should focus more on the tasks that matter and make a difference and less time doing things that make you seem really “busy” but aren’t actually productive.
Instead of running in a hamster wheel and having constant movement but making no real progress, we need to get out of the cage. You don’t have to always look busy to have a productive life.
Sometimes when people work too much (at school or work), they get burned out, anxious, or even depressed. I’ve seen a few quotes lately that the cure for depression is to constantly be busy, and I have to disagree.
I think we need more white space in our day, and time to do nothing.
I’ve been writing 5 blog posts a day for the last month for Resilient and I still only work 4 or 5 hours a day. That’s because I know how important it is to take time for yourself, relax, take breaks every hour or two, meditate, and have time to just do absolutely nothing. Having this free, unscheduled time in your day will dramatically improve your stress levels.
If you’ve scheduled every minute of your day from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, of course you’re going to feel anxious and overwhelmed. At first having a moment when you have no responsibilities or tasks to complete is very unnerving. But if you just sit with the discomfort, over time you’ll find that it’s a relief to have time to yourself for the first time.
What would you do with 15 minutes of free time? (or hopefully more). You could read a book for fun, learn about personal development, read our blog, look at inspirational quotes, meditate, write a gratitude list, or just lay on the grass and watch the clouds. It’s amazing what this can do for your mental health.
You might also be interested in our 30 Day Negativity Detox, an online class about reducing the negativity in your life to make room for the positive. 🙂