10 Ways to Stay Sane While Working 80 Hour Weeks with Reduced Pay

June 12, 2020
June 12, 2020 Lauren

10 Ways to Stay Sane While Working 80 Hour Weeks with Reduced Pay

With all the chaos surrounding the working world, many business owners and employees are working overtime…a lot of overtime.

So, how do you stay sane when you’re working 80 hour weeks with little to no pay?

Ten business leaders share their thoughts on the topic.


Put Yourself First

Understand that if you are not physically and mentally well, you can’t give your full effort to your employer company. With that being said, put yourself first. Prioritize a work-life balance. If you are working at home, try and separate the two. Have a designated workspace that you pack up and put away at the end of the day. Close your computer and go outside on walks during your breaks. Try anything that helps to keep you from working in your kitchen until 10 p.m. If you are in the office, be intentional about honoring your work hours and make sure that you are vocal to management about when you’ve reached your limit. 

Ryan Nouis, TruPath


Don’t Negotiate Your Self-Care

For those who absolutely cannot avoid it, basic self-care has to be non-negotiable. This means getting at least seven hours of sleep, drinking water and eating quality food, making time to move your body (even if just for 15 minutes a day) and having emotional support– whether that’s working with a therapist or coach or even cultivating a journaling or meditation practice.

Kristen J. Zavo, Find Your Job Joy


Eat Meals Away From Your Desk

Be sure to take the time to spend with your family. Take some time for a walk, exercise and make sure to eat meals away from your desk. Most importantly, look for humor wherever you can find it.

Adrienne Collins, Workplace Experience Manager 


Give Yourself Boundaries

Have a routine, Monday to Friday, that is as similar to a traditional workday as possible, even if you aren’t working at all. Before 9:00, or whenever your start time is, make sure you take time for yourself, whether that’s doing yoga, having coffee or even just a shower; treat that as time in your day. Do the same thing at 5:00. Try to switch off by making a nice dinner, watching some trashy T.V. or reading a book. If you have to work overtime, try to balance the next day out (if possible) by doing something nice for yourself or doing nothing at all.

Sarah Lysecki, Content Strategist


Discover Your Stress Relievers

It’s beneficial to know what activities or people in your life are stress relievers and leverage those when you need to. Also, setting boundaries between your professional and personal life may not seem possible, but making a few rules for yourself (e.g. I will not check my email past 9 p.m.) may be a good first step.

Kelsey Herbst, Senior Marketing Specialist


Find a Healthy Way to Unwind

Find a healthy way to unwind and schedule breaks! If you don’t schedule them, they won’t happen. Period.

Ethan White, Wayland Partners


Be Grateful

Be grateful that you’re working! Fourty million people, and counting, are unemployed. Consider finding perspective– things can be much worse. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Take breaks, eat well, stay physically active and remain in contact with friends and family.

Anthony Basuil, Technical Recruiter


Make Your Workday Work for You

Maybe you’re more productive at 2 a.m. than you are at 2 p.m. The typical workday is out. Make your working hours work for you.

Connor Masich, Marketing Manager


Look for the Next Opportunity

It’s a terrible position to be in working long hours with reduced (or no) pay during these times, but remember that everything is temporary and the experience gained will pay off. Stay on the lookout for the companies that are hiring and hustle to work your way into your next opportunity.

Mansi Kothari, Maven Clinic


Have an Open Line of Communication

The biggest factor in not overworking yourself is having an open line of communication with your management. It is inevitable that you will spend extra hours in the office, but it is crucial that employees feel like they can talk to their superiors about feeling exhausted. It is also on management to understand that staff are people too. If you overwork your staff, the moment another employment opportunity opens up, they are likely to leave. When working during the pandemic, remind yourself that nothing is more important than the well-being of the employee.

Brett Farmiloe, Digital PR Company