Why People Get Sucked into 70-Hour Plus work weeks and How You Get Free
I see it and hear it an awful lot.
“I’m so busy”…”I’m swamped”…”I don’t even have time to go to the bathroom!”
Many studies show that busy salespeople and sales leaders work in excess of seventy hours a week if you add up all of the time they spend at the office, in the field and also all of the time communicating with prospects, clients and peers. I am even aware of a few people that work over eighty hours a week.
I once had a quasi-mentor tell me, “If it can’t be done in a forty hour work week, it ain’t worth doing.”
That advice didn’t stick with me. I’m an entrepreneur and a semi-workaholic. I laughed at him, but I did get his point. Maybe us workaholics can agree that if it can’t be done in around fifty hours a week, then it ain’t worth doing. It’s also humorous to note how many 70-hour plus zombies tell me that they “don’t have a choice.” They feel like they’re being held captive. And they are, but to what? Nobody has a gun pointed at his or her head, but that’s exactly the way they feel. They are being held captive, but not by anybody else.
They’re almost always being held hostage by their own restrictive beliefs
There are many reasons people feel trapped and compelled to work so many hours, but these are a few I see more often than others:
Reason #1: We forget that we are in CONTROL
We can’t always have complete control of our business circumstances each and every day, but we can make a choice of how we respond to things thrown at us.
The key factor that trips us up here is that we sometimes forget that we have that choice. We lapse into a self-induced coma that suggests to our subconscious that choices have already been made for us and we are just plain stuck with them. When we relinquish this basic level of control it robs us of the chance to improve our circumstances.
The truth is, we always have the power to choose differently and it starts with reminding yourself that you do have choices. Maybe it’s as simple as telling your direct report that you’re having a challenge keeping up with all of the priorities of your position, or that a project or initiative will have to be pushed back a few days. If you are burning the candle at both ends and starting to feel burnt out, you have the authority to make a few alternate decisions with your time. We all have this level of control if we choose to exercise it.
Reason #2: We are stuck in a CREATIVE vacuum
Sometimes we’re simply unaware of better alternatives. It may be that we’re not creative enough. Other times, we just haven’t thought it through. But there are almost always solutions if we put our minds to it. If you recognize you have control, you can start proactively seeking out other options. We can ask peers or friends for new ideas or fresh approaches. Conversations are always good for getting new ideas on the board and the same is true with books, blogs, and other resources. If you recognize you have control, you can always find better ideas.
Reason #3: We’re physically or emotionally BURNT
We are probably aware there are solutions to our crazy calendar out there somewhere—we might even know what could work for us—but we’re just too burnt out to think and act. Working too many hours a week will do that to you. We only have 168 hours in a week, but if we’re not using enough of them to revitalize ourselves, we’re sure to squander the rest of the hours. We need to begin the rejuvenation process by placing a priority on our sleep, exercise and personal care. This action will help our energy return and creativity will soon follow. We’ll also feel more empowered and have the confidence we need to choose a better path.
Reason #4: We have no firm direction or PLAN
Another reason we feel stuck on the 70-hour wheel is that we haven’t charted a real and viable course. We’re just floating aimlessly.
Goal setting fixes this!
You can begin to set goals that will help you get past your current circumstance. The small and then larger goals you set will empower you to envision a better life and then help you map out the steps to get there. When I talk to people about how we sometimes relinquish control and how we practice other similar limiting beliefs, I usually challenge them to reverse the pattern and replace them with empowering truths.
If your life is out of balance because you are working 70-hour plus work weeks—or you feel stuck in any way at all—you can always choose better outcomes. Nobody runs your life unless you allow them to.
…And, oh, by the way…you have far more power than you think!
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com