Guiding Light: When Is The 70/80 Work Week Desirable?

Guiding Light: When Is The 70/80 Work Week Desirable?

If your work is fulfilling all your life priorities or if you have taken care of most of your priorities and there is only one priority left for you, then spending 70-80 hours a week on that is perfectly acceptable

Swami Brahmavidananda SaraswatiUpdated: Thursday, November 16, 2023, 09:40 PM IST
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70/80 hours work week | representative pic

Last time we looked into living a life of harmony with one's priorities. When is it appropriate to make your work and your life one and the same? If your work is fulfilling all your life priorities or if you have taken care of most of your priorities and there is only one priority left for you, then spending 70-80 hours a week on that is perfectly acceptable. This could be the life of an artist, a dancer, or a singer. They may get all their needs fulfilled from that very art itself and may not have additional emotional or intellectual needs or even spiritual needs. In such a situation it is perfectly okay to be unidimensional and focus all your time and energy in that art. The same thing would hold true for someone in the service of the nation. Or even monks and sanyasis who only have one single priority in life - their spiritual priority and their whole life is centered around that. They have no other priorities in life. Therefore, it is perfectly fine to spend every waking hour in those pursuits in those activities.

Now, an entrepreneur wanting to set up an industry may also put in long hours. From what I have seen in my corporate training of 30-odd years, many of them do have emotional and physical needs. Therefore, they may spend 5-10 years in single-minded pursuit of their entrepreneurial goals but after that, they have to take a break, step back a bit, and spend time on the other areas of life. I find that the best example of this is monks. They are perfectly fine spending 70-80 hours on teaching and learning. There are people like artists and patriotic people ready to serve the nation completely which involves spending every waking hour in the pursuit of goals. This is totally acceptable and even desirable.

Other than these exceptions, it is better to live a balanced life with a focus on all priorities – physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, professional, social, and spiritual, to lead a happier life.

The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at aarshavidyaf@gmail.com

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