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The Perfectionist's Handbook: Take Risks, Invite Criticism, and Make the Most of Your Mistakes by Jeff Szymanski, PhD

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Chapter 9

All Work and No Play

Why It's Important to Refuel and Refresh

The Seduction: “Just One More Minute …”

Do you find yourself working long hours and skipping vacations while telling yourself, “It will take just one more week, one more day, one more hour”? And you're almost at the bottom of your inbox. Besides, you can't get too far behind, or you'll never be able to dig yourself out of the hole. Once you feel caught up, you'll get to the other valuable things in life: travel, personal hobbies, spending more time with the family. … And if you do get to these other things, then it means that your hard work has paid off. “Work hard and play hard.” Is this a saying you are able to live by?

I by no means would make the argument that you shouldn't ever feel stressed, overwhelmed, or even overworked on occasion. In fact, I believe that these experiences are part of being successful. Things worth having are things that you've worked hard for. The issue isn't your willingness to work hard; it's remembering that this hard work is also supposed to benefit you in one way or another. I spent years in graduate school, generating debt, working 70-hour weeks because it was supposed to pay off down the road. All of that hard work and sacrifice should result in autonomy, independence, choice, and career stimulation—not endless long hours, putting myself second, and paying off debts until retirement age.

So, are you cashing in on your hard work? I'm not speaking literally in terms of making ...

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