It’s no secret that hard work is one of the keys to success. John Wooden, one of my leadership exemplars, has industriousness (or hard work) as one of the cornerstones for his pyramid of success. Without hard work nothing great can be accomplished. You’ve probably heard people say that your luck seems to increase in proportion to how hard you work…or… something like that. I think that’s definitely the case. The harder you work, the more opportunities seem to come your way. But is it possible to work too hard?
I believe that there comes a point when your work almost becomes counter-productive. This isn’t because you all of the sudden start doing really poor or unsatisfactory work, but mainly because of the heavy burden and load that you carry as you pile on the work, and the effects that it can have on you. There needs to be a balance between hard work and time for self/family. There’s a great quote that says something to this effect: “A bow that is always tightly wound will eventually lose its spring.”
Are there moments or periods of time when you can, and should, take on more of a load? Absolutely. It’s not uncommon for there to be busy periods at work, school, etc. There might be projects that you need to tackle, people that you’re covering for, busy times of the year, etc. But it’s important to not let your work consume your life, and for the overly busy/chaotic to become the norm. Doing so will eventually lead to burn out and/or dissatisfaction with other areas of your life.
My challenge to you is that if you’re feeling over worked and burnt out; take a moment to intentionally plan something relaxing for you and/or your family. Whether that’s going out to a ball game, taking a Slurpee to the park, or even just popping some popcorn and watching a movie at home, carve out that time. We’re generally really good about being intentional and planning out our “work time,” but sometimes we forget to do that with our much needed “down time” as well.