Excess is a word that has been resonating with me a lot lately. As some of you may or may not know, I have been doing the most in 2019. I’m getting married, buying a house, moving out of state, and completely changing my career. The idea of excess is hitting me really hard. Every week I’m crossing major life events off my list, and everything feels very accelerated and excessive.
Outside of this context, mostly I think of excess in relation to things that are consumed. In this country specifically, there is a tendency to eat or drink in excess. This obviously has negative effects on our health and well-being. We also have a propensity for working in excess. This can be equally unhealthy and bad for us. Working hard is an admirable quality, but Americans have a tendency to become workaholics. The rise in technology has enabled us to be responsive and working at all hours of the day.
Beyond the rise of accessibility to employees on their personal time, in many parts of the country there are increased expectations about how many hours are to be worked in a week. This is problematic for a number of reasons, but it also isn’t wholly beneficial to the employer. Working in excess of 40 hours a week can lead to burnout among employees. If this goes uncorrected, this will lead to turnover amongst the workforce.
Some employers believe that, if they are able to get an extra hour or two out of their employees each day, they will receive more work without paying extra for that time. However, what actually occurs when employees are expected to work ten hours a day is that they become less and less productive over time. You will get better quality of work out of your employees if you do not expect them to work in excess of standard work hours.
This can be used as an example for areas of your life where you are doing something in excess. While it might not seem like it’s negatively affecting you now, there are likely long-term effects that will come out over time. One of the most important values you can have in your life is to do all things in moderation. I will be seeking balance in my life over the next year. I hope for you that you are also able to work to find balance in your own life.