While there is much to love about our high-tech world — speed, convenience, the ability to get in touch with anyone anywhere at a moment’s notice — life in the age of the internet is not all sunshine and roses.
Just ask the average American worker, who works one hour a day more than her European counterparts, according to The Nation. The US is one of the most overworked countries in the world, with one-third of us putting in 45+ hour weeks and 9.7 million of us working more than 60 hours every week. We don’t even take all of our allotted vacation days, leaving about nine of them on the table every year on average, according to Inc.
The American aversion to taking a break is due, in part, to the always-on nature of business in a connected world. Our employers can reach us any time, and with our inboxes just a click away and our to-do lists constantly growing, it’s tempting to keep on working even when the workday is officially done.
The problem is, that’s terrible for our mental and physical health — not to mention our work performance.
Paradoxically enough, working more can actually make your productivity dive. We need to take breaks in order to rest up, recharge, and come back to work ready to tackle the challenges in our way. Without regular breaks, we’re simply setting ourselves up for burnout.
But you probably knew all of that already. I don’t have to tell you how exhausting a nonstop work schedule can be when you’re already living it. Still, you may find it hard to disconnect. It can feel downright impossible to reprogram yourself when you’re used to working from sunup to sundown.