I was in LA last week to conduct an interview with Shari Brown, one the nation’s top direct sellers. In a few short years this suburban, stay-at-home mom has built a sales team numbering in the tens of thousands and earns a salary that would make many senior executives green with envy.
Offhandedly, Shari admitted to feeling guilty for not having to work harder longer hours to achieve and maintain her amazing success; a comment I hear often from driven successful people.
So this week, I thought we’d take a look at what new research is telling us about putting in the extra hours at work:
- A Stanford University study recently reported people working 70 hours a week did not get any more done than those logging 50 hours.
- 21 of 23 analyzed research studies show working long hours (especially when your schedule prohibits spending time with your kids) might harm your children’s development including: increased behavioral issues, lower cognitive ability and increased likelihood of obesity.
- Results from 124,000 surveys suggested that people generally sacrifice sleep in exchange for paid work time. Chronic loss of sleep is associated with a host of mental and health issues. The study noted that 30% of the American workforce (40.6 million people) typically sleep less than 6 hours a night.
- The University of Oslo reported that some groups of people not traditionally vulnerable to drug use (mother’s among them), are turning to amphetamine as a way to sustain grueling work schedules.
If more work doesn’t produce more, causes problems for our kids, deprives us of sleep and makes us vulnerable to drug use, I say you can have it. Shari give up your guilt and take the afternoon off…!
Mathias Basner, Andrea M. Spaeth, David F. Dinges. Sociodemographic Characteristics and Waking Activities and their Role in the Timing and Duration of Sleep. SLEEP, 2014; DOI: 10.5665/sleep.4238
Travis Bradberry, How Successful People Spend Their Weekends. Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2015/03/24/how-successful-people-spend-their-weekends/
Lauren Hale. Inadequate Sleep Duration as a Public Health and Social Justice Problem: Can We Truly Trade Off Our Daily Activities for More Sleep? SLEEP, 2014; DOI: 10.5665/sleep.4228
Jianghong Li, Sarah E. Johnson, Wen-Jui Han, Sonia Andrews, Garth Kendall, Lyndall Strazdins, Alfred Dockery. Parents’ Nonstandard Work Schedules and Child Well-Being: A Critical Review of the Literature. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10935-013-0318-z
Sarah Johnson et al. Mothers’ and Fathers’ Work Hours, Child Gender, and Behavior in Middle Childhood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75 (February 2013): 56 %u2013 74 DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.01030.x
Willy Pedersen, Sveinung Sandberg, Heith Copes. High Speed: Amphetamine Use in the Context of Conventional Culture. Deviant Behavior, 2014; 36 (2): 146 DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2014.923272
Penn State. “How parents juggle work hours may influence kids’ weight.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819200215.htm>.