Designed by Hadi Davodpour

Designed by Hadi Davodpour

1,600 people in China die each day from working too hard, a phenomenon they’ve termed “Guolaosi.” Like its Japanese counterpart, “Karoshi,” it includes death from stroke, heart attack, cerebral hemorrhage, or other sudden causes related to the demands of work.

Fortunately for creatives, the demands of the workplace are seldom fatal. Although according to research from Gallup, the typical U.S. worker clocks in roughly 9.34 working-hours per day, a number that has steadily increased since 2001. Mobile technology and startup culture are both contributing factors to the blurring of the eight hour work day. 

Instead of feeling guilty about not being the first one to arrive and the last one to leave, Jullien Gordon, Founder & CEO of New Higher, suggests that we keep four simple indicators in mind for when it’s time to shut down shop and go home, guilt-free:

Energy-Based: I’ll Leave Work When I’m Dead Tired I only use this for emergencies or for hardcore deadlines that must be met…

Time-Based: I’ll Leave Work When The Clock Strikes 5 p.m. I use this is during my “off-season” when my to do lists isn’t that long and therefore doesn’t fill up my day or week, but I need to spend that time doing strategic thinking which doesn’t always feel like work..

Results-Based: I’ll Leave Work When I Finish My Daily To Do List It doesn’t matter how long it takes you, as long as you get the work done…

Feeling-Based: I’ll Leave Work When I Feel Good About What I Accomplished This type of finish line is great for when the deliverable or game being played at the moment isn’t that clear…

Before we find ourselves over-clocking our lives away like our friends in the East, we need to simultaneously define clearer boundaries of what constitute’s a good day’s work and downplay the idea of the overworked creative.


  • Ari Tulla

    Maintaining work/life balance is something that should be reassessed frequently. We all go through busy seasons where schedules ebb and flow, being able to identify those and limit the “always on” mentality is helpful in maintaining this balance.

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