When you have a massive or pressing deadline looming at work, it can be tempting to pull an all-nighter to get some work done. The problem is, this method isn’t guaranteed to help you finish the project any faster or more productively. Sometimes, working too long can negatively impact your productivity.
Working Too Long Tires Your Brain
Working too long harms your productivity because your brain begins to get fatigued when you work for long periods without a break. When your brain is tired, the work it produces is often of lower quality. You will likely begin to work slower and make mistakes that you don’t catch or notice. Not only that, it is especially bad if you are skipping sleep to work. When your mind and body are both exhausted, you won’t be able to turn out quality work at all, and you’ll probably feel horrible when you try.
Distractions Become More Tempting
When you don’t allow yourself time to address distractions, they will only become more tempting as time passes. They will continue to take your mind away from the task at hand until you allow yourself time for them. For example, if you are working on a project and you are hungry, stop and take a break to have a snack. Suppose you don’t allow yourself a few minutes to address this distraction. In that case, your productivity will only continue to decrease until you do because you will only be able to think about how hungry you are rather than focusing on the project.
Trying To Focus Too Long Actually Damages Productivity
According to Psych Central, scientists have found that productivity is damaged by working too long without breaks. Besides the fact that your brain grows more tired and distracted as you work, you will also produce less valuable work the longer you work without a break. Several factors contribute to this, including how quickly someone can move and think decreases once they work past a certain length of time. Lower quality of work means lower productivity.
Overall, while it can be tempting to believe that you will get more done if you work more hours, this isn’t always the case. The human brain needs breaks to rest and address distractions to keep it productive. Therefore you should avoid working for long periods and instead work for shorter, more productive blocks of time.