Forget the 40-hour work week: for many working professionals, 80+ workweeks are not only common but expected and deeply entrenched into their companies’ culture. And, as anyone who’s ever run their own company or worked at a startup can tell you, it’s not just lawyers and investment bankers who are doing the hard time at the office. And it’s not just at the office: many working professionals leave their offices and go home – only to open their laptops at the dinner table and work into the wee hours of the night remotely.
So how do these overworked souls deal with hours and hours of work? Ten overextended workers weigh in on their de-stressing mechanisms, from channeling their inner rock star to pole dancing in the office:
"Sometimes, I’m so stressed out I just want to scream, but instead, I channel my inner rock star. I’ll drive to a big shopping plaza and park all the way in the back, where there aren’t any cars around me. Then, I’ll roll up all of my windows, blast up my stereo and belt out some teen girl pop song I have no business knowing the lyrics for. There’s nothing like screaming lyrics and throwing your hair around to make you feel like a million bucks, even if you’re just in your car. It also is guaranteed to put me in a better mood if I’m having a bad morning.”
-Sharon Rosenblatt, Accessibility Partners LLC
“In 2007 I started a Chamber of Commerce management company - now we’re also a social media agency, and while the team has expanded to take on more tasks, my work hours range between 75 and 90 per week . Here’s how I manage stress:
a) Joined a running club. I run 3 times per week, roughly 15 to 30 miles total. It’s been a life-changer.
b) I visit the chiropractor regularly (no aches or pains, just maintenance)
d) Treat myself to a documentary once per week for brain stimulus
e) On Sundays we have family day with the extended fam (roughly 6-8 hours) and back to work at night
f) I meet with a small group of entrepreneurs and we cook, drink, and discuss ideas
g) And last, but not least, once per year I, sometimes with others in my network, deliver computers to some of the poorest parts of the world where access to online customers could make the difference to entire villages.
Doing social good puts life and business into perspective and provides fuel to cope and plow ahead.”
-Edgar Mejia, Conexion
According to Business Insider, one investment banking analyst tried to play a trick on his own mind: each day around 5 pm, he would power off, gather his things, then walk to the subway station as if he were heading home for the night. Once he got to the station, he’d pretend he had just gotten there and he was starting his day anew. He’d walk back to work with the physical and mental energy to plow through the night.
Read more ideas on how to survive a long work week at TheGrindstone!