We live in a culture that glorifies busyness. We wear our busyness like a badge of honor as if it’s something to be celebrated. But the truth is, being busy all the time is taking a toll on our well-being and causing burnout. Here’s how.
First, when you’re always busy, you’re more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression. That’s because constantly being in “fight or flight” mode takes a toll on your mental health. When you’re always busy, your body is in constant stress mode, which can lead to a number of health problems.
Second, always being busy harms your relationships. When you’re always on the go, you don’t have time for the people who matter most to you. You miss out on important moments with your family and friends, and you never have time to just relax and enjoy life.
We’re Working More Hours Than Ever Before
The demands of work have never been greater. With technology making it possible to always be connected, many of us feel like we can never truly disconnect from our jobs. This constant connection means we’re working more hours than ever before. According to a recent report from Gallup, the average American worker now works 47 hours per week. That’s nearly one full workday more than what was considered full-time work just a few decades ago.
This increase in work hours has led to what’s known as “presenteeism,” which is when workers are physically present at their job but not really mentally present or productive. This can have serious consequences for both employers and employees. For employers, it leads to lower productivity and higher costs associated with absenteeism, health care, and turnover. For employees, it leads to increased stress, anxiety, and burnout. In fact, studies have found that workers who are frequently burned out are 23% more likely to take a sick day and 2.6 times as likely to leave their job altogether.
We’re Sleeping Less Than Ever Before
If you’re one of the many Americans who feel like they’re constantly running on empty, it’s probably because you are. The average American now gets just 6 hours and 31 minutes of sleep per night, which is far less than the 7 to 9 hours that experts recommend. This lack of sleep takes a toll on our mental and physical health in a number of ways. It can lead to problems with memory and concentration, weaken our immune system, increase our risk of accidents and injury, and contribute to chronic conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
We’re Taking Less Vacation Than Ever Before
Not only are we working more hours than ever before, but we’re also taking less vacation time than ever before. In fact, Americans now take an average of just 4 vacation days per year—and 1 in 4 workers doesn’t take any vacation time at all! This reluctance to unplug from work can have serious implications for our mental and physical health. Studies have shown that taking regular vacations can lower your risk of heart disease, improve your sleep quality, reduce stress levels, and boost your overall happiness and satisfaction with life.
The Negative Effects of Busyness
When you’re constantly busy, you’re never able to fully relax and rejuvenate. Your mind is always running at 100 miles an hour, trying to keep up with your never-ending To Do list. This can lead to feelings of anxiousness, stress, and burnout. And it’s not just your mental health that suffers when you’re always on the go. Your physical health takes a hit as well.
If you’re constantly exhausted, your immune system is weakened, making you more susceptible to getting sick. And if you don’t have time for proper nutrition or exercise, your physical health will suffer as well. The bottom line is that constantly being busy is not good for your physical or mental health.
The Benefits of Slowing Down
So what happens when you start to slow down? When you stop being so busy all the time? For starters, you’ll actually have time for things like self-care and relaxation. You’ll be able to focus on your relationships instead of just getting through your never-ending To Do list. And you might even find that your work suffers less from burnout if you take regular breaks instead of working 24/7.
Slowing down can be difficult at first, but it’s worth it for your mental and physical health. If you’re not sure where to start, try these tips:
- Schedule some time each day for yourself – Whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk, or just sitting in silence for 10 minutes, make sure you’re carving out some time each day just for yourself.
- Set boundaries with work – Let your employees know that you won’t be checking email after hours or working weekends. If they give you pushback, be firm and remind them that burnout is real and it will impact your work if you don’t take some time for yourself.
- Make time for loved ones – Spending time with those we love is one of the most important things we can do for our mental health. So make sure you’re scheduling regular date nights or girls’ nights or whatever matches up with your relationship status!
In conclusion, constantly being busy is detrimental to your well-being. It leads to feelings of anxiousness and stress, weakens your immune system, and can even lead to burnout at work. We need to find ways to slow down and recharge on a regular basis—both physically and mentally. That means making time for things like exercise, relaxation, sleep, and vacations. It might seem counterintuitive to “take time off” in order to be more productive at work, but trust us—it’s worth it!