By the
Mind Tools
Editorial Team

Surviving Long Work Hours

Thriving With a Demanding Schedule

Blurred Clock

© iStockphoto

As she's become more successful in her career, Nancy has been putting in a lot of extra hours at work.

This isn't an issue for her – she's committed and ambitious, and she's prepared to work hard to get ahead. However, she has seen the effect that long hours have had on some of her peers, and she doesn't want this to happen to her.

For instance, one of her colleagues is always tired and irritable, and he doesn't seem to enjoy his work anymore – as a result, his performance has started to decline. Another colleague has put on a lot of weight, and she's recently been taking time off sick.

In this article, we'll look at how you can avoid problems like these if you work long hours. We'll explore how you can stay healthy and still perform exceptionally well. Plus, we'll look at how you can lighten the load, where this is appropriate.

Why We Work Long Hours

We have to work hard if we want to be successful in our careers, and this can often involve working long hours. (This is not necessarily a bad thing if you're ambitious, and if this is what you want to do.)

As well as this, many people put in extra hours to meet project deadlines, to clear a backlog of work, or to study.

Some people also work long hours so that they can be seen as "good workers." For instance, they might think that their reputation will take a hit if they're not working late like everyone else.

Whatever the reason for putting in the extra work, your performance can suffer if you don't have strategies in place to manage stress and fatigue, get the most out of the additional time that you're putting in, and enjoy work and life in general.

Let's look at these strategies....

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