Joy Journal

Every Friday, you can receive the Joy Journal, which will give you information, inspiration and tips that you can use in your pursuit for joy.


The quintessential over-worker cries uncle

But sticks to his old ways.


In a recent interview as part of the G20 Summit, Elon Musk made the statement to the right. He went on to say, “I’m really working the absolute most amount that I can work…It’s not something I recommend, frankly.” This coming from the leader who once tweeted, “There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.”

Upon reading this on Monday of this week, I had hoped that he had seen the error of his beliefs about incessant working. THEN he sends an overnight email on Tuesday to the remaining Twitter employees that they have 48 hours to commit to “long hours at high intensity” or they are out (with a bit of pay). (Shaking head in hands with an enormous sigh.)

Here is the fallacy of the situation—working constantly doesn’t improve a situation, create high-quality work product, or expedite the attainment of your goals. Rather it makes a person error-prone, less efficient, less creative, less smart, less patient and difficult to work with. This is in large part because there isn’t enough sleep, opportunity for the brain and body to recover, or an opportunity to unplug.

Additionally, the chronic, unrelenting dump of cortisol and adrenaline the your body creates all kinds of problems, as listed below

At the height of my burnout, I was experiencing 65% of these symptoms regularly. (So you don’t have to do the math, that 19 of the 29 symptoms…19!) If you are working a lot, what’s your number?

My advice to you…don’t be like Elon. Don’t be like me. Avoid the myth that working more cures what ails. When you protect yourself from chronic over-work, everything increases or improves—productivity, quality, creativity, efficiency, relationships, joy, etc. When you are give yourself breaks and unplug, amazing outcomes can manifest in your life.

As an editorial note, the author of the Joy Journal will be enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday and watching World Cup soccer next Friday so you will hear from us again on December 2.

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