3 Red Flags That You’re Overworking Yourself

Whether you have a job requiring a lot of time and energy or too many side projects, overworking yourself is ultimately a bad decision.

It may help you achieve more money and success in the short term, though you’ll sacrifice a lot along the way, which will ultimately lead to burnout.

However, it isn’t just your monetary success that will suffer when burnout sets in. In recent years, medical institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and others have raised awareness of burnout’s adverse effects. While some can lead to clinically poor mental states (such as depression), others can lead to physical damage. Now, if you want to be promoted as soon as possible in your work, of course, you don’t need to overwork!  Just make sure you understand and practice these 10 creative ways to improve your attention to detail at work.

Therefore, here are some signs that you may be overworking yourself and what you can do about it.


Tired Exhausted Young Woman Looking Waking up Early

Overworking means stress and depression, which can interrupt sleep patterns. People often consider oversleeping a consequence of stress and worry; they don’t often see the other side of the coin – sleeping late. 

So, if you have been sleeping past your alarm and it gets difficult for you to wake up early in the morning, it could be a red flag that you are overworking yourself at the office. 

Your Daily Habits Change

Hand turns dice and changes the expression "old habits" to "new habits".

Another red flag that you’re probably overworking yourself is simply by looking at your daily schedule. Here are a few key questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I wake up earlier than I used to?
  • Do I still go to the gym, meditate, or perform other self-care activities?
  • Do I eat the same diet and on the same schedule, I used to?

These questions are illuminating and will help you see how overworking yourself can impact your physical health.

If you notice that you no longer have time for these activities, how can you cut work out of your schedule to make time for these activities?

Your Productivity Dropsdecrease of sales and profit, bankruptcy business concept

Another unlikely sign that you’re overworking yourself is if your productivity has dropped. Plenty of studies show that the more hours an employee works, the less productive they ultimately perform.

In fact, one study by Boston University found that most managers couldn’t tell the difference between employees who worked 80 plus hours per week and those that worked a regular schedule.

Therefore, track how long it takes you to complete each task. If you notice that it takes you longer than it used to, you might be overworked.

Make Changes Now

Many people boast about overworking, and it’s almost a cultural norm. However, just because you work more hours than anyone else doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be more successful.

Instead, try implementing systems and processes to make yourself more efficient. Are there any meetings you can omit entirely, or can you streamline more manual processes? If you’re working for a boss, consider confronting the problem and discuss how you can redistribute work. The key is to enter the meeting with new ideas on how you can reduce the burden.

While overworking might seem like something to be proud of, it’s going to make you less productive in the long run, so find a solution to it now.

Disadvantages of Overworking

Young secretary overwhelmed by work

1. Burnout

One of the biggest disadvantages of overworking is burnout at work, leading to stress. If you remain stressed at your workplace, you could develop some life-threatening conditions. Following are some signs of stress:

  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent illnesses
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Changes in appetite
  • Digestive issues

2. Your Relationships Get Affected

The first telltale sign that you’re overworking yourself is that your relationships begin to suffer. If you’re in a romantic relationship, you might notice that your partner often complains that you don’t spend enough time with them. Even when you spend time with them, you might be distracted or anxious.

If you aren’t in a romantic relationship, you might notice that you spend very little time talking to friends or family. For example, when was the last time you called your best friend?

If you don’t know, look at your phone to see when was the last time you called your friend and think of the last time you went out. If you haven’t done either of these things in the past week, you might be overworked.

When you spend most of your time in the office overworking, your family and friends feel the effects of your absence. Overworking doesn’t just affect relationships, but you also tend to miss important events, such as birthday parties, recitals, date nights, and more. And even if you get time to attend these events, you will be so drained due to being overworked. 

3. Your Workplace Suffers

When employees of a company are overworked and feel exhausted all the time, the quality of work gets affected badly. Therefore, the workplace suffers the most in this case. You might begin to miss work or stay depressed all the time. 

Things to Do When You are overworked

Work life balance choices

1. Assess the Situation

To know what steps to take, you first need to assess the situation. If overworking is self-imposed, you need to see why you started overworking in the first place. If something motivates you to overwork, assess it. For example, if you are overworking just to make extra money by the end of the month, there is no shame in it. However, you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself, “is it worth going the extra mile?”

On the other hand, if overworking is part of your office culture, your problem might be fixed by talking to your boss. However, if you work in a culture that is resistant to change or glorifies overworking, it is time you think of other possibilities. Don’t let false loyalty keep you tied to toxic working culture. 

2. Make a Plan

After assessing the situation, it is time to plan your next move. If you plan to continue your current job, make some changes. Set specific boundaries like letting your better half know that you will be home by 6PM for family dinner every day. This way, you won’t overwork yourself because your mind will be clear that you have committed to your family and must be home by 6. 


Maintaining a good work-life balance can be easy if you look for the red flags of overworking and work on getting rid of them. Knowing the signs and what to do will allow you to nip problems at the bud. However, it is important to note that you must open up with your boss or family about overworking. 

So, for starters, analyze how you spend your time every day. This way, you might find out what is consuming more time, and you can work on it then. 

About the Author

Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.