These days, working long hours is seen as a badge of honor. Having little time to relax has become a source of pride that people frequently refer to when discussing work. You might hear about a hospital worker enduring 36-hour shifts, start-ups that use all-nighters to get ahead, or a company employee who burns the midnight oil to stay competitive.
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” seems to be the popular rallying cry of today.
A lot of the remedies we use to counteract low energy are immediate and have a short-term effect. For instance, a grueling week’s work is remedied by downing energy drinks to stay afloat. A grumbling stomach is fixed by ordering a cheesy pizza dinner.
These are quick methods that keep us going through long hours. The problem is, they aren’t sustainable in the long run. It’s like treating a wound with a band-aid: it’s fine for now, but something’s got to be done about it sooner or later.
Enter the Concept of Energy Surplus vs. Deficit
Think of your energy levels like a bank account. A healthy account has a sufficient amount of funds, where more money is deposited than taken out. Run your account into the negatives, however, and you face penalties that drain your account even more. Too many lapses in payments and your account can shut down completely. [Read more…]