Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Death by Overwork: Motivationally Speaking Its a Zero


The Japanese have a word for death by overwork: Karoshi. A recent survey said 40 percent of all Japanese workers fear that they will actually work themselves to death.

Karoshi is not my idea of success. Sure, I talk about "Never Settling for Success," but that's not a prescription for becoming an obsessive or a workaholic. That type of single-mindedness is more likely to lead to burnout than peak performance. Never settling for success simply means that you commit to maximum effort within the hours of your life that you've allotted for pursuing a particular pursuit. And you do that in spite of the 1001 excruciatingly attractive reasons, excuses, distractions and temptations that you can find for doing less.

Tip: Focus is a good buzzword. Multi-tasking is a bad one. Computers multi-task, and usually lose efficiency when they do. When people do it, it's usually not multi-tasking at all; it's usually that older cliché, spreading yourself too thin.

Tip: During working hours, consider working.

Tip: During non-working hours, consider doing something else.

Now obviously given the realities of life today, there are likely to be times when you're going to have to work during what you would like to be non-working hours. Sometimes. But you'll never fill the glass unless you can find a way to be comfortable with the amount of your life you're devoting to the job. Then you make those hours as productive as possible.

"If I worked as much as others," Stephen Wright said, "I would do as little as they." There's more than a grain of truth to that statement.

Fortunately, as a society we're finally beginning to realize that chronic overwork is not a badge of honor, it's a sign that somewhere, something is wrong.

Tip: If you find yourself proudly bragging about your hours or your workload, you're probably putting in more time than you should.

Tip: Intelligent people don't brag about being overworked. They complain about being overworked.

Tip: If you don't have something in your life more worthy of bragging about, find something.

"Working hard has always been a measure of success in the office," says Alie Hochchild author of The Time Bind. "Now we've internalized it. So instead of the boss harassing you to work more, we do it to ourselves."

The better the manager, the less time it takes him to do his job. A good worker takes care of his health and his sanity, and is as productive as possible during the hours he is working. An astute company values its people and doesn't abuse them or any other asset.

Yet on consulting assignments, I keep hearing remarks like, "Around here, if you don't show your face early mornings, late nights and weekends you're not considered committed." I've seen low level managers cowering in their cubicles, pretending to be busy, afraid to leave the office before their boss leaves: no matter how late it gets, no matter how little they're accomplishing. If they do leave first, it's commented on the next day, either by the boss or by their peers.

I remember an executive who made a great show of carrying home armloads of work every night. Sometimes he had so much he had to make two trips to the car. After I got to know him, he admitted he never worked on any of it. He just lugged it home at night, then lugged it back the next day.

"Don't laugh," he said, patting the pile he was gathering for that night. "I'm considered one of the hardest workers in the office. And it's always a lot easier to influence the guy I'm working for with reputation than with achievement, believe me."

Activity vs Productivity

The idea (for those of us who sometimes forget) is to get the job done as well and as efficiently as possible. I'm always in favor of letting your results do the talking. And of measuring subordinates by the results they achieve. When I was an employee I wanted to be so good at what I did that I didn't have to worry about trying to impress anybody any other way. That saved me a lot of wasted energy: energy that probably helped improve my productivity.

We should never confuse activity with productivity. No matter how many hours someone puts in, no matter how much they appear to be working, the only measurement that really matters is the results.

The refreshing news is that, nowadays, among all the people bragging about their long hours, we're also beginning to hear a few executives boasting that they're good enough at what they do to be able to leave at a decent hour, to get more done, and have time to get home and refresh themselves so they can put in another efficient day's work the next day.

Tip: Never let your company, your clients, your boss, your boss' boss or anyone else make you feel guilty that you're not a workaholic.

Workaholics are people with problems. Do you feel guilty that you're not obsessed by sex (okay, would you feel guilty if you weren't)? Or by chocolate? Do you feel guilty that you don't want to spend your entire life playing golf or loafing, or reading or watching TV? Or that you're not addicted to alcohol or narcotics? Why should you feel guilty that you're too well rounded an individual to want to spend your entire life working?

Barry Maher speaks on management, motivation, communication, leadership and sales. His book, Filling the Glass has been honored as "[One of] The Seven Essential Popular Business Books" by Today's Librarian magazine. And when it comes to sales training, Selling Power magazine says, "to his powerful and famous clients, Barry Maher is simply the best sales trainer in the business."

Sign up for his free newsletter and contact Barry Maher on his website at http://www.barrymaher.com. For an inspiring keynote speaker, a great workshop or seminar leader, an expert trainer and a first rate motivator for your next meeting, conference or convention.


MORE RESOURCES:

New York Times

Dollar General Questions Motivation of Rival's CEO
New York Times
Photo. Together with Family Dollar, Dollar General would have almost 20,000 stores and more than $28 billion in revenue.Credit Eric Gay/Associated Press. Chief executives routinely pledge to do what's best for their investors, especially when it comes ...
Is family pride behind a dollar store's rebuffed takeover bid?Fortune
Family Dollar rejects Dollar General's $9.7 billion bid, fires back at CEO's ...WBTV

all 313 news articles »


Bostrom on Superintelligence (6): Motivation Selection Methods
Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
The first is to adopt some form of “capability control”, i.e. limit the intelligence's capabilities so that, whatever its motivations might be, it cannot pose a threat to human beings. We reviewed various forms of capability control in the previous ...



KyForward.com

Weighty Matters: Stuck in a weight-loss crawl, motivation is needed to get me ...
KyForward.com
Then there's the motivation of immediate gratification, something to which our culture is irretrievably tied. The drive-thru, the vending machine, the corner gas and food mart all provide instant food and drink. What kind of immediate gratification can ...



Medical Xpress

Difficulty assessing effort drives motivation deficits in schizophrenia, study ...
Medical Xpress
The research, detailed in an article published this week in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, can assist health professionals in countering motivation deficits among patients with schizophrenia and help those patients function normally by breaking up ...

and more »


Medina County Gazette

Girls soccer: Loss gives Highland extra motivation
Medina County Gazette
Highland's Mari Ley battles for the ball with Olmsted Falls Taylor Hurt in the first half. (AARON JOSEFCZYK / GAZETTE). GRANGER TWP. — Sometimes the best thing to do after a loss is to get back on the field. That was the case for Highland's girls ...



Using doubt as motivation
InsideCarolina.com (subscription)
Syracuse freshman running back Ervin Philips uses consistent doubt in his abilities as motivation which has helped him earn the praise of the coaching staff during his first training camp. Ervin Philips was not one of the headliners of Syracuse's 2014 ...

and more »


Me my motivation and my game-programmers life
GameDev.net
I have made several game-prototypes which got to a state where you can see a bit of the game - no good graphics at all, but basic stuff was working fine so far and then... i just lost the motivation and dont know what to do anymore. Thats really ...



Ferguson protests increase motivation to spread peace in Utica
WKTV
Ferguson protests increase motivation to spread peace in Utica. By WKTV News. Story Created: Aug 20, 2014 at 7:21 PM EDT. Story Updated: Aug 20, 2014 at 7:21 PM EDT. UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) -- With turmoil erupting in Ferguson, local church leaders, ...



Abernathy Teacher of the Year sees deafness as motivation, not obstacle
LubbockOnline.com
ABERNATHY — Keri Moore's most-used phrase as a child was, “I can do it myself.” It didn't matter that she was born deaf. Now a math teacher at Abernathy Middle School and the district's newest Teacher of the Year, Moore wants her students to live by ...



BBC News

James Foley on his motivation in BBC interview
BBC News
The Islamic State militant group has released a video online showing the beheading of US journalist James Foley, missing since 2012. In 2012, Foley spoke to the BBC at an auction he had helped organise to raise money for the family of Anton Hammerl, ...
James Foley gave his life to shed light on horror of warIndianapolis Star

all 411 news articles »

Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.