4 Reasons Overworking is Overrated
From an early age, we are taught the value of hard work. “Work harder than the next guy” society tells us. “Work longer hours, sleep less, and grind” we are told. “Grind” has become a particularly common verb among aspirational go-getters, entrepreneurial types, and VCs today. It comes from the noise made by gears grinding beyond their limits. I’m not a fan of it.
Here are four reasons why overworking is overrated:
1. Overworking doesn’t guarantee anything. There is a misconception that working hard will lead to entrepreneurial success. We can certainly work hard — very hard — and fail. This happens most of the time for new businesses. You can’t out-work a bad business model, a poor industry position, or weak business acumen.
2. Overworking can be a red herring. Sometimes it’s easier for us to put in more hours than to either admit that a company is not going to work, or shift gears sufficiently to save the company. Putting in another two or three hours a day and doing the same thing we have been doing — just more of it — doesn’t solve or address the fundamental issues related to the company’s success.
3. Overworking can distract us. As business owners, we have endless lists of things we want to do. However, we can often get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae or big ideas that are time-intensive but do not have high value. Taking time to rest and reflect is a critical part of being a successful entrepreneur. It helps us differentiate the important work from the low-value work.
4. Overworking is unhealthy. Working hard is fine. But working too hard is simply bad for us. Skipping sleep, relying on too much caffeine, not keeping physically active, accumulating stress, or eating poorly due to time constraints are all side effects of working too hard. We should aim to be healthy both because our physical and mental health is important and because poor health
Having said all of this, I’m not arguing for laziness. Entrepreneurial success requires work. It doesn’t require working to the bone. It doesn’t require giving up other important areas of our lives.
This article was written by Avenue Group Founder Jeremy Greenberg