Working evenings is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can have a negative impact on your life if not kept in check.

Chances are, working evenings isn’t a matter of if but when for most of us. With exciting projects that have more work than we could ever do, sneaking in a few extra hours in the evening is a way to stay afloat.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially for a season, however there are two challenges to be aware of when working day and night.

  1. Burnout. There is only so long that our bodies and minds can work before they need a rest. God has given us a pattern with the sabbath, but if we ignore it long enough our bodies will force us to stop working.
  2. Displacement. We only have so many hours in a day, and every hour we spend working is one hour not doing something else, whether that is time with God, time with others, or time spent for self.

For much of my entrepreneurial life, especially with my first startup, this has been a struggle. As the sole member of the team for most of the time, I always had more “to do” than I could ever finish alone. Having a young child at home meant that I had to be home in the evenings anyway, so I might as well work.

Not only did these long hours affect my health by replacing my exercise, raising my stress and reducing my sleep; this pattern of work meant that I spent less time with my friends, and less quality time with my wife.

Over the years I have learned to get better at recognizing when it becomes an issue, but I still fall into the trap of making it a habit – put the kids to bed, grab the laptop and start working – without thinking about how I can best use my time.

If you are working evenings (and days) frequently, I encourage you to take some time to stop and think about why, and at what cost. Then turn to Psalm 127 and be reminded that it isn’t our straining that will accomplish the big goals God calls us to, but his work!

It is useless for you to work so hard
  from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
  for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Psalm 127:2 NLT

~ Sean

Closed for now ... something new coming soon(ish).