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A 9-to-5 Schedule Is Enough—Here’s Why You Should Never Work Overtime

In the endless “hustle culture” that we are currently part of, it sometimes seems that working hours never stop. Freelancers, entrepreneurs and other professionals who are carving out their own paths emphasize the importance of working hard and long hours in order to succeed. But what about those who work conventional jobs and have a traditional 9-to-5 schedule?

Are there any benefits to working overtime? Can you impress your boss by taking on extra work after hours? Can you actually be productive after you’ve been at it hard for 8 hours already? Or is working overtime just a huge burden where you struggle to complete your assignments and only manage to do so in double the amount of time it would take you normally? Opinions vary when it comes to this hot topic, but if you ask us, we vouch for leaving your work at the office and never working overtime.

Here’s why you should reconsider taking on additional work once you’re 9-to-5 schedule is up:

Your Performance Is Not at Peak Levels

Humans are not really designed to work all the time without periods of rest. After you’re already been hard at work for 8 hours, going on with it can drastically decrease your productivity levels. Once your focus is broken and you start feeling fatigued, you’re much more prone to make mistakes.

Those who do physical work are also more likely to hurt themselves or get injured. So you might want to think long and hard about the disadvantages of working overtime, because it can not only hurt your overall performance but it can also have negative effects on your health.

Your Boss Will Keep Taking Advantage of You

Once your boss notices that you’re someone who’s not particularly bothered about working overtime, he or she will likely ask you to do it again and again. Once this cycle starts and your employer keeps giving you additional tasks to do from home, the more times you accept and complete the projects, the harder it will be to say “no” even if you want to.

The way to combat this downward spiral is by declining the proposition in the first place. You should never ever be asked to do additional work after hours, so don’t let them bully you into believing that it’s mandatory.

You Need Rest in Order to Stay Productive

You’re likely throwing yourself into your work with the noblest of intentions, but experts say that everyone’s brain needs to take a break on a regular basis. Some say that you should rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes after every 50-90 minutes of intensive work. When it comes to 8-hour work days, it’s pretty clear that after a while your brain loses its momentum and starts slowing down.

In order to gain perspective, recharge and reset your brain function, you should definitely not work overtime after having such an already long day behind you. Most people proclaim that the best ideas and most creative solutions come to us when we’re well rested, so keep this in mind next time you want to do extra work.

You Can Burn Out

Burning out can have dire consequences not only on your career, but also on your overall health, your mood and your attitude towards work. Overworking and over-stressing because of work-related tasks is one of the leading causes of burnout, which can lead to feelings of exhaustion, decreased motivation and diminished interest in work. In extreme cases, it can completely kill your passion towards doing the things you love, causing you to feel like your work has no meaning.

Your Personal Relationships Can Suffer

You already spend 8 long hours away from your loved ones (not counting commute time). When you decide to work overtime, what you’re basically saying is that you voluntarily opt for time away from your most significant relationships, in order to look better to your boss. When it’s put this way, do you think it’s worth neglecting the people who are most important to you just so you can receive a few words of praise (if any) from your employer? The answer is completely up to you. However, considering all these factors, we believe that you should never work overtime, because the disadvantages are much more damaging than the benefits it can provide.

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