We work a lot despite being thought of as lazy. The U.S. is considered to be the most tired nation in the world. But not much to show for it.

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Don't think so. Here are a few data points that show us in a different light.

  • There are laws setting a maximum work week in 134 countries; there is none in the U.S.
  • The average number of hours worked by American workers is 1,767 per year, compared to 1,687 for OECD countries.
  • Based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, American workers have become more productive since 1950 by 430%.
  • The United States does not have a law requiring paid sick days.
  • In the industrialized world, the U.S. is the only country without a legally mandated annual leave policy.
  • In the Americas, only the United States does not offer paid parental leave. A typical European worker receives over 20 weeks of paid leave and over 12 weeks anywhere else.
  • A Gallup survey conducted in 2021 found that on average, full-time employees work 44 hours a week, while 41% work 45 hours or more.
  • ADP discovered that employees work a weekly average of nearly nine unpaid overtime hours in 2021. A remote employee clocks 9.4 hours of unpaid overtime, while a hybrid employee clocks 9.8 hours. In that case, they would have worked close to 50 hours per week.

Why are we working so much? It's possible that your mileage is different. It's difficult for some people to disengage from work. Others may feel like they have to be reachable 24/7. If your business is understaffed, you may have no choice but to take on more work.

The Downside of Overworking

I don't think you should work less hours. There is no limit on how long you can work when you are passionate about what you do.

More work is associated with a lower standard of living. A balanced life requires time to relax, take care of your home, and enjoy hobbies.

Working too much can have consequences.

  • Stalled productivity. People who work 70 hours per week don’t actually accomplish more work than people who work 56 hours per week, according to a Stanford research paper.
  • Your heart is also working overtime. Stress at work can release the hormone cortisol, which has a detrimental effect on the heart. In turn, this increases your risk for strokes, cardiovascular disease, diabetes type 2, and even cancer.
  • Neck and back pain. According to the Occupational & Environmental Medicine journal, people with back pain are more likely to work longer hours.
  • Impaired sleep. In exchange for more working hours, your get less time to sleep. This leads to decreased productivity and increased risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
  • A toll on your mental health. According to one study, those who worked more than 11 hours per day were more likely to experience depression.
  • Puts a strain on relationships. Stress, fatigue, and depression caused by work may also affect your relationships — even if you still make the time for them.
  • You turn to unhealthy habits. When you work more than 40 hours a week, you are more likely to drink alcohol in “risky” quantities. For women, that’s a minimum of 14 drinks a week, while for men, it’s 21 drinks a week.

What is Quiet Quitting?

This is the second time. A lot of us work. It's detrimental to all aspects of our lives and it doesn't offer anything in return.

It's no wonder people are embracing "quiet quitting." What does this phenomenon mean?

Quiet quitting doesn't mean slacking off or quitting your job. Rejecting the idea of going above and beyond at work is what it means.

You come to work, do your job, and leave.

The conversation began with a video posted on July 25 by zaidleppelin. Quiet quitting is when you don't quit your job, but you quit the idea of going above and beyond.

"To me, quietly quitting just comes back to setting your boundaries about what your outputs are going to look like at work," he said.

For some, that might mean just doing the bare minimum because they don't have much else to give. It simply means not burning yourself out.

"I realized no matter how much work I put in, I'm not going to see the payoff that I'm expecting."

If you work hard, you can get to corporate America. Mental and physical health take a back seat to productivity in a lot of these corporate environments.

Do you believe this is a trend? Nearly a quarter of Americans say they are quit quieters.

What the critics are saying.

There are some drawbacks to the trends.

People unhappy with their job situation may not want to work hard. It may not be effective to quit quietly. Employees who are unhappy should talk to their managers about how to improve their situation or find a better job.

Quiet quitting is a really bad idea according to Kevin O'Leary.

He says that people who try to solve problems for the organization, their teams, their managers, their bosses, those are the ones that succeed in life. They don't work for me because people that shut down their laptop at 5 want that balance in life.

Even though employment experts warn of the risks of quiet quitting, it's important to remember the source of this advice--employers and their spokespeople. Quiet quitting could be just what the doctor ordered.

How to Stop Overworking

Working too much can have dire consequences. Here are some ideas on how to stop working.

1. Review your values.

Do you ask yourself the same question over and over? If that's the case, you should ask yourself what you want to do with your life.

In a previous calendar article, Andrey Zagorodniy said to talk to the people who know you well if it's difficult to figure it out on your own. You will not be able to get out of the pit of your burnout if you don't find the right motivation.

There are two types of motivation. Relating to rewards, financial gains, or avoiding punishment is what motivates extrinsic motivation. The inspiration a person receives from within determines their motivation.

If you remind yourself that you will get a promotion and a salary increase once you finish the project, the first type will push you in the correct direction. This will only make you want to work harder.

The second type is related to something that is meaningful to an individual and remains with them throughout their life. In order to become a better version of yourself, Goleman says to focus on it and imagine your goals.

You should be thankful for what you have instead of regretting what you don't. The wistful regrets are destructive and won't bring you anywhere. You should be grateful for what you have.

2. Adjust your priorities and expectations.

If you have more than three priorities, you don't have priorities. I am aware that everything may be a priority for you. How much progress can you make if you move a million pebbles at once?

Isn't this a difficult challenge. You're correct.

It would be great if we focused on three giant rocks. It's definitely true. This isn't an easy task. It is simpler than moving millions of pebbles.

Before you get overwhelmed, ask yourself, what are the three things you have to do today? You should engage in activities that help you reach your goals.

You need to mark them on your calendar whenever you identify them. There's a reason. It will be simpler to establish boundaries. If you have a doctor's appointment after work, it's a top priority. You can't work overtime.

You should also adjust your expectations as well. Serena Williams is a better tennis player than Jeff Bezos. It is fine if you lead a fulfilling life that you enjoy.

It's a good idea to leave your perfectionist behind. You don't need to make a masterpiece for everything.

3. Go beyond work-life balance.

John Hall says that work-life balance used to be the answer to having cake and eating it too. It's a myth.

There will be times when work and personal life intersect. It could be a fire or an email. If you attempt to maintain this non-existent balance, you will be stressed out.

There is a better approach. It's important to integrate as much as you can.

Hall suggests having your child file, sort, or organize your office or having a work call while taking your dog for a stroll.

Additionally, he lists the following myths as needing to be dispelled;

  • It is important to compartmentalize your life. “You can’t evenly split up your time between work and life,” Hall explains. “Rather, you need to devote the right amount of time to your current priority.”
  • You can have it all. Unfortunately, I have bad news to share. It is inevitable that you will have to make some sacrifices in life.
  • Managing your time is the key. That’s not exactly true. The key is to manage your energy and focus.
  • More time will be available to you thanks to technology. Despite the fact that these can be valuable, not everything in life can be automated. Also, in some cases, productivity tools can make you less productive.
  • It’s the most important thing to employees. Flexibility is important. But meaningful work, recognition, and empathy are even more important.
  • Early birds catch the worm. “Unless you’re a morning bird, don’t fight against your circadian rhythms.”
  • During off-hours, you never work. On some days, you will have to work 12 hours. On the flip side, there will be some workdays that will only last four hours.
  • You’ll be happier if you work less. “Even if you worked a 20-hour week, would you be happy if you spend the majority of your time just watching Netflix?” asks Hall.
  • You need to schedule everything. “Outside of your essential tasks and appointments, you can leave some free space so that you have a little wiggle room.”

4. Identify your non-negotiables.

In Making Space: How to Live Happier by Setting Boundaries That Work for You, she says that most work decisions involve consequences. We can't be in two places at the same time if we're asked to work overtime. Many of us don't know we're sacrificing.

When we have time and space, it is helpful to have a list of non-negotiables. What do we say if we say yes to overtime? What are we agreeing to?

If you need to make a down payment for a home or launch a new product, you should only work overtime. You could care for an ill family member or never miss a birthday. Taking a good lunch break can help you relax.

The methods of communication could be the subject of our non-negotiables. It is possible that we don't want to be contacted by our work colleagues via social media because we prefer to use those with our friends and family.

She says that creating a list of nonnegotiables helps uncover what is important to them. From them, we can create, communicate and negotiate boundaries.

5. Clearly define your availability.

When you work, take calls, and off-limits, your coworkers should know.

What is the way? You could let them know about it. Sending them a link to your online calendar is often how this is done. They are able to see when you are available.

You don't want to give too much away. You can modify your calendar to keep some entries private.

Non-work activities should be scheduled on your calendar in order to be more official. A shared calendar can be helpful if you share it with other people.

You can enter entries in your calendar.

  • Work breaks
  • Focused work without distractions
  • Family time
  • Vacations days

6. Purposefully overestimate.

Add a little buffer time to estimate the duration of a project. It is a simple way to stay out of harms way.

You dive into your final priority at 3 p.m. It would take under two hours, so you can leave by 5. You're working overtime if it's closer to 3 hours. You could either start the task earlier in the day or wait until tomorrow.

7. Ask for help.

Don't try to do everything yourself. It is impossible according to another calendar article. At most jobs, there is a team. Ask your team for help if you are realistic with your capacity.

If you're self-employed, consider hiring a virtual assistant or someone who can take a time- consuming task off your plate It will take some money, but it will allow you to be more productive and build your business. Don't hesitate to invest in your business. Some of the health effects caused by over working will be avoided.

8. Share your needs.

The founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group recommends speaking with your manager after figuring out what you need for your job and life. Communication is a must.

It's possible that you have one idea of what your job responsibilities are, and your boss has another. It could look like you are slacking if your manager thinks those are part of your job, she said.

If I stopped doing work that everyone assumed I would be doing, there would be trouble and things would fall through the cracks.

She advised that you tell your manager what you have accomplished in order to get a fair amount of compensation.

9. When you leave work, leave work.

James Clear admits that he is guilty of answering work emails at all hours of the day. I have noticed that nothing has changed when I ignore my inbox.

He says that when the work day begins, he still has things to do. The next day doesn't get any easier because of the extra time the night before.

Clear says to give your email a rest for a night or two and see if it's any different the next day. Outside of the office, your time should be spent on you and the people you care about.

10. Let go of the guilt.

Is it possible to clock out while everyone else is still working? Adam Borland is a psychologist.

He says that there is a feeling of guilt. It's important to remember that you need to take care of yourself in order to be the best.

It is almost like a badge of honor to say you worked so hard on this little amount of sleep. We need to change that mentality.

The Role of Leaders

Even though understaffing and client pressure won't go away, business leaders and owners can take practical measures to help their employees. If you do, your team will be more productive and you will be able to retain them.

Make sure breaks are assigned.

Employers can use employee monitoring software to make sure their employees take lunch breaks.

In order to encourage team members to take time off, executives can use these tools.

Don’t burden your team with unplanned work.

John Hall says packing your travel suitcase without conscience is similar to unplanned work. If you throw things in, you won't be able to fit them. If you want everything to fit, make sure that every corner is used.

Managers should not be stressed by work that is not planned. Last-minute tasks can make employees overwhelmed.

Reduce meetings.

Managers might want to limit the number of meetings they schedule for their employees. If only necessary meetings are held, employees can be more focused.

They can spend more time crossing off items from their to-do lists at work. They can feel confident that they have finished their work at the end of their shift.

Procedures and expectations should be reevaluated.

Employees can work longer hours due to the expectations they have. Companies may discover inefficiencies when evaluating their processes. If corrected, the workload would be reduced and the performance improved.

Roles and protocols can be changed to make sure employees don't work more than 40 hours a week. Some staffers are able to complete a workload in less time because they are more efficient.

Offer flexible working arrangements.

The executive leader of the Future Forum says that people don't want a lot of meetings. They want to be able to turn off notifications when they please. It is possible for caregivers to log off from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and come back after the kids are asleep.

Flexible hours are preferred by 98% of knowledge workers.

Flexible work arrangements are available.

  • Remote work. ‌During the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home has become a necessity for most office workers rather than an optional perk.
  • Flextime. Flexibility in work arrangements allows employees to organize their days or weeks as they see fit. ‌Rarely does it happen, however. ‌Most flexible work arrangements require employees to work a certain number of hours each day. ‌In spite of this, they have the option of choosing their own start and stop times — within certain limits.
  • Compressed workweek. This arrangement requires employees to work fewer than five days a week on average. ‌In compressed workweeks, employees work four 10-hour days rather than‌ ‌five‌ ‌eight-hour‌ ‌days.
  • Job-sharing. ‌Shared jobs are held by two permanent employees. ‌A worker’s salary and benefits may be prorated according to how much of the job he or she shares. An effective job-sharing arrangement requires both employees to be qualified for the job and able to function well together.
  • Less than 40 hours. ‌A limited work schedule is suitable for employees who wish to limit their working hours. The average workweek lasts between 20 and 29 hours. There are times, however, when employees can choose which days to work and how long to work.

Don’t skimp on healthcare.

Both in-person and remote employees need to take care of their health. Benefits that boost physical and mental health can be provided by employee assistance programs. Retention can be increased by these perks.

Enforce “off” hours.

Employers need to let workers know it's okay to disengage. It is1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556 Workers should be encouraged to take a break after their shift is done.

Thank you!

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