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Book Review: “Win at Work & Succeed at Life. 5 Principles to Free You From the Cult of Overwork

Win At Work Succeed At Life Book

The culture of overwork thrives today in our society. If you have ever made the choice to work those few extra hours and miss out on a family dinner, a happy hour with friends, or skip that little project you wanted to do for yourself, you are definitely not alone. Trust me, if we had to do a show of hands, mine would be high in the air for this one!


For many of us, work fuels our passions to be creative, solve problems, and engage with others. However, this can come at a cost to our personal time and relationships, our health and well-being, and if we really think about it, our ability to truly deliver the value we are capable of to our work.


Recently I read a book entitled, Win at work and succeed at life. Five principles to free yourself from the cult of overwork. Being a workaholic at heart, I was immediately drawn to this and for my fellow partners in crime, I highly recommend doing the same.

This book provides five principles that will help you mindfully consider how to approach your day and how to consider your definition of success. It will help you determine what work-life balance looks like for you and give you practical tools to achieve what they refer to as the ‘Double Win’ or a work and life partnership.


Below is a small takeaway from each principle: 


1. Work is only one of many ways to orient your life. 

The harder we work and the more we achieve as a result can quickly become a vicious cycle. Before we know it there is not enough time to get things done and we are spending our personal time to do it all. Overwork is fueled by a lack of clarity on what matters most. The answer lies within clarifying our non-negotiables on self-care, relationships, and work results or goals.


2. Constraints foster productivity, creativity, and freedom.

Instead of just working more hours to get something done, set constraints on your day. This can provide creative new approaches and ways to solve problems. It also frees you from old habits and mindsets and gives you time to rest and rejuvenate. Constraining your work gives you time for your life.


3. Work-life balance is truly possible.

Not everything is going to be perfect, nor will you have the final say over what outcomes you achieve. However, you can prioritize your day to focus on what matters to you most. It’s also important to remember the reasons that you start to overwork in the first place and that sometimes you might be out of balance. Don’t forget that you have agency to make change. 


4. There is incredible power in non-achievement.

To be your best at home and at work, you need to remember to include rest. Give yourself time and space to pause, think, and be creative. Dream, noodle on ideas, and open some whitespace to think outside the box. If you are always on the go, the imagination can fall by the wayside. 


5. Rest is the foundation of meaningful productive work.

It’s important for us to rethink the value and benefit of sleep. If you deprive yourself of rest, it becomes hard to see what it’s costing you in terms of productivity and focus. No one can be 100% on 100% of the time! The best way to start your day is with a good night’s sleep.

There is a lot more detail in this book and personally I found it full of many great tips that caused me to pause and reflect on how I was handling my day and balancing my priorities. If any of this resonates with you, I suggest grabbing your own copy and sharing it with friends. In the meantime, here are three tips to get started:

  1. Identify what you want – be clear on your goals.

  2. Communicate what you want – having a partner understand your goals keeps you accountable.

  3. Arrange your life to get what you want – focus on the things you love and inspire you.


I challenge you to win at work and at life! 


Written by: Angela Gerber

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