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.
Therefore, here are some signs that you may be overworking yourself and what you can do about it.
Your Relationships Are Suffering
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 do 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 in 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.
Your Daily Habits Change
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 that I used to?
These questions are very 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 Drops
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.
About the Author
Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.