Investment bankers at a well-known firm recently conducted a study that followed investment bankers for fifteen years to analyze their performance. Half of the bankers worked in excess of 100 hours per week while the other half worked around 40 hours, per week and had time to implement healthy habits in their lives. The goal of the study was to determine which group performed better long term.
The researchers found that in the first three years of the study, the bankers who worked over 100 hours per week, statistically out-performed the bankers who only worked 40 hours per week. However, something interesting happened in the fourth year of the study. The employees who worked over 100 hours per week reported burnout, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, depression, became addicted to drugs/alcohol, verbalized dissatisfaction with their job, experienced family neglect, and even a long-term hospitalization due to stress.
The bankers in the 100+ hours per week group were so focused on making money and having success at work that they literally neglected many other important aspects of their lives.The study clearly suggests that appropriate self-care is necessary for long term success. Take for example, Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing. Hyatt went in for a routine doctor visit and was told that if he didn’t change his work schedule, his health would be in jeopardy. Hyatt heeded the warning and scaled back his work hours and became intentional about taking care of himself. Now a bestselling author, Hyatt points out that self-care provides leaders with five essential benefits.
1. Self-care gives you energy
2. Self-care gives you an edge
3. Self-care boosts your confidence
4. Self-care increases your earnings
5. Self-care breeds endurance
What a shame it would be to look back on your life and see a trail of broken relationships, unhealthy habits, and missed opportunities sacrificed on the altar of business success. We should be diligent in our work but striving for success only in our work, is one-dimensional. Working toward balance in all areas of life allows for multi-dimensional success and helps us move closer to the life that we were intended to live.
What can you do this week to focus on self-care in one area of your life?