In a culture that celebrates grinders, it can seem that the only way to get ahead and increase your productivity is to work more hours than anyone else and sacrifice any sense of balance, sleep and well-being.
I fell into this trap through my 20s and early 30s. I worked long days and late nights, tried to hack my sleep down to 4 hours, gave up a social life and lost all balance in my life.
Looking back, I realize how much time I wasted in front of my computer labouring away, when I could have taken better care of myself and achieved more by doing so.
At 34, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, known to be caused by the kind of extreme stress I inflicted on myself in my early working years. It was the wake-up call I needed to find an approach to work and life that didn’t sacrifice my physical, psychological and emotional well-being in order to perform at a high level.
What I found through my research and personal discovery shocked me. Decades of research in neuroscience, psychology and physiology are ignored by today’s working culture. Our practices at work have not yet caught up to the science. The result is a society where productivity is dropping, while anxiety, stress and burnout are on the rise.