Really Great Reasons to Work Less
What if you could work less and still get results? Does that seem like an unattainable goal?
While altering the way you go about working is a process, there are some really compelling reasons to make the effort.
You’ve heard it said that less is more and it’s true!
Those are some compelling reasons to focus on less. And when it comes to work, that very same principle applies:
Working Less = Greater Productivity
Leaning into less is difficult! The message that rings loud and clear via advertising, social media, and our own insecurities is that you need to do more, more, and more!
Sadly, when your plate is overflowing and you are trying to juggle too much, it’s not a happy or fulfilling place to be! And rather than all your many zealous efforts resulting in the success you are aiming for, it leads to burnout!
But what if you could work less, enjoy life more, and actually get better results? Sounds pretty sweet, right? Consider these additional really good reasons to work less:
1. Increased Creativity
When you spend less time working, there’s more space in your life to read, connect with others, enjoy nature, and let your mind wander. There’s time to pursue hobbies and enjoy new experiences. Those are all activities that enable you to step back and gain a fresh perspective. And they fuel your creativity in ways that encourage fresh and innovative ideas to bring to your work.
Perpetually working, on the other hand, blinds you to new ideas and prohibits you from stepping back and assessing better and/or more efficient ways of approaching the challenges before you.
In addition, having boundaries around work is a constraint that works in your favor! Jason Fried and David Heinemeier have this to say about constraints in their book REWORK:
“Constraints are advantages in disguise. Limited resources force you to make do with what you’ve got. There’s no room for waste. And that forces you to be creative.”
2. Less Stress
A little bit of stress is good. Without any pressure like deadlines or boundaries, you tend to get less done. Yet too much stress – that’s also an obstacle to productivity!
Perpetually working puts you under more pressure than you were meant to bear. And it squeezes out essential activities that naturally reduce stress like exercising, preparing healthy meals, getting enough sleep, having time to reflect and process life, and connecting with God and the treasured ones in your life.
You don’t operate at your very best when you are stressed. More mistakes are made, your ability to see the possibilities is limited, and all that extra work has a way of leading to even more work! Ultimately working more is a vicious and counterproductive cycle.
3. Sounder Judgment
Decisions made from a frazzled and over-worked place are rarely brilliant. Your judgment is sounder and your decisions wiser when you are relaxed when making them.
You don’t wan to be making decisions at work or at home that are skewed by your tapped out overworked consumed self!
4. Better Relationships
There are many factors that contribute to having meaningful relationships and those factors require time. You were created to connect and when you neglect your relationships not only do you suffer, the people in your life suffer, and so does your work.
By reducing the number of hours you work, you have more time for God, your family, and your friends!
5. Makes You More Interesting
When over-investing in work, you become one-dimensional – there’s not much to you outside of work. That means that what you have to offer the people in your life and what you bring to the work that you do is limited and lacking the excitement that new experiences nurture.
Having a full and rich life outside of work enhances your work; it’s inspiring! And when you are inspired you are cable of getting a whole lot more done in very little time!
6. Helps You Be More Pleasant
While work is an important part of life, it’s not the only facet. Work is often draining, and when that’s what you spend the bulk of your time doing, there’s very little time for you to participate in life-giving activities. As a result, you are operating on empty and unfortunately, in that empty state you aren’t much fun to be around.
A regular rhythm of working hard and resting well sets you up to work in an optimal way! And to be more pleasant to be around. Lean too much in either direction – too much work or too much rest and you’ll run into trouble!
7. Increases You Faith
Choosing to work less is a step of faith. It’s believing that God is able to take your small and faithful efforts at work and multiply them into something more.
Trusting God more is a great place to be!
8. Leads to Better Stewardship
Putting most of your energy into work limits the capacity you have left.
On the other hand, intentionally working less means stewarding your time at work wisely so that you have more time for other important responsibilities.
Stewardship is about making the most of ALL that God’s placed in your care – all that He’s blessed you with. It’s about taking care of you, investing in the people in your life, as well all that He’s blessed you with – your finances, home, etc.
9. Expands Your Comfort Zone
One reason for working so much is that it’s the one place you feel you are successful. That makes work a comfortable place.
By working less, it encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and grow in some areas you’ve been avoiding. I don’t want to minimize how difficult it is to venture out into the unknown, but I do want to encourage you to give it a try. What you learn and the ways that you grow also benefit your work! Be brave!
10. Better Health
Sleep, exercise, healthy meals – these all tend to get sacrificed when you are working long hours. As a result, your physical, emotional, and spiritual health bare the brunt of your choices. That frequently leads to health issues that may force you to take time off work.
By working less, you have the opportunity to adopt healthy and life-giving habits that not only support your health, but bring new vitality to your work too! A win, win!
Have I persuaded you to take a cold, hard look at the amount of time you spend working? I hope so!
What’s your next step to tightening up the time spent at work?
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