4 Signs of Overworking at Work & How to Prevent It
There is a fine line between working at your capacity and pushing the hustle and grind mindset. Of course, there are always times where extra work might be required for things like an ongoing project. But overworking yourself can have negative consequences in the long run.
It’s tough to find enough time in the day to complete the tasks you need to get done. You have to balance all your priorities while fulfilling your tasks and responsibilities. Plus you want to find some time for yourself.
Have you found yourself more tired than usual? Or are you finding yourself falling further and further behind in your work? You might have missed some signs that you’re overworking yourself.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
4 Signs of Overworking at Work
It can be easy to get caught up in your fast-paced environment and overlook signs of overworking. Every situation is unique, but here are four common signs that you are overworking yourself at work.
1. You’re Getting Sick More Frequently
Chances are you have a thousand things on your mind at any one time. You’re balancing all your duties and responsibilities and managing everything at home at the same time. But not allowing your body time to rest and rest can take its toll.
Stress can often get linked to physical symptoms like chest pain, stomach issues and sore muscles, for example. But it can also affect your immune system. Overworking yourself can put your body in a difficult position to fight off sickness.
The best thing you can do to avoid getting sick more frequently is to make sure rest and relaxation are part of your schedule. Your body needs extra time to be able to fight off various illnesses. Without it, you can have a lack of energy which could contribute to chronic fatigue.
2. Your Mood Changes and You Become More Irritable
When you aren’t thinking about anything other than work your stress levels can be a major sign of mood changes. You end up feeling stuck and hopeless with what you’re doing. Which will affect your mental health and can lead to psychological symptoms like mood swings or a lack of motivation.
You might snap back at a coworker unexpectedly or avoid social interactions altogether. Becoming frustrated from overworking will negatively affect your work life and personal life.
If you feel that you're becoming more irritable or short-tempered, try to include personal interests in your schedule. You can break up your days and take some time to do a hobby or a recreational activity. It can help you re-focus, relax and stay positive.
3. You Are Seeing Unexpected Weight Loss
Every person is different and will have a different capacity of the amount of work they can handle. But, no matter who you are or what you do, overworking will almost no doubt lead to a change in diet.
Since you are so focused on your job and completing the work that you have it can be easy to miss a meal. Either that or the things that you are eating aren’t healthy or nutritious. And if this happens for an extended period of time it can contribute to unexpected weight loss.
Or, even unexpected weight gain. And weight gain because of bad eating habits can contribute to high blood pressure and increase the risks of heart disease. A healthy and balanced diet is critical to being able to stay focused and productive throughout the day.
If you often eat out or buy lunch last minute, try and bring a lunch with you to work. You can prepare it the night before so you don’t have to worry about it in the morning. It can also help to have set lunch or breakfast times each day.
Having set times can let you stay organized and provide you with subtle notifications that it’s time to refuel.
4. You’re Beginning to Feel More Alone and Isolated
How often do you communicate with friends and family when you have your head buried in work? Do you still have those weekly conversations with your best friend? What about those after-work conversations with your family?
It can be tough to balance your work life and your personal life when you’re overworked. Time moves fast and a few days, weeks or even months can pass quickly. And before you know it, your daily routine doesn’t consist of anything other than work.
If your days only include waking up, working and going to sleep, becoming isolated can happen without you noticing. And while your job and career are important, so are your personal life and the people around you. It’s okay to say no to going out to drinks or a last-minute plan.
But socializing with friends and family has several beneficial opportunities. You can discuss the challenges of the day and vent your stress. Which can allow you to gain a different perspective or simply release some frustration.
Interacting with friends and family is a great opportunity to help balance your work and life stresses. Being able to unplug from work and chat about your favorite movie or the latest book you read can help take your mind off your tasks. You can then get back to work refreshed and feeling more productive.
How to Prevent Overworking at Work
You can work in different ways compared to your coworker. And they will work in different ways compared to other coworkers. Every individual is unique when it comes to what they can or can’t handle.
However, every single person has the power to change their situation. So, if you are finding yourself to be overworked at work, there are things you can do to help find more of a balance.
The first thing that you should do is try and assess your situation. Take a look at the instances or reasons that have led you to be overworked. Is it because you put so much pressure on yourself or is it because you’re expected to deliver results?
Whatever the reason is, take some time to reflect on how you have gotten where you are. You can then have important conversations with your coworkers or supervisor about how to get back to a sense of normalcy.
Implementing the use of a calendar and mixing in some personal time can also help balance out your work. By taking the time to refocus and reset throughout the day, you stay more productive and are as efficient as possible. This can help reduce the possibility of overworking yourself.
If one thing is abundantly clear, it’s that overworking at work isn’t worth it and will only make things harder. Not everyone who overworks themselves is going to show the same signs or symptoms as someone else. Overworking can affect everyone differently.
But, just a few of the signs or symptoms can be enough for you to take a step back and evaluate your situation. There are no benefits to overworking, it will just lead to burnout. Listen to the warning signs that your body gives you and try and recognize if you’re overworking at work.
Look for unexpected weight loss, increased irritability or other deteriorating health concerns. These can all get associated with overworking and recognizing them as soon as possible can help you avoid burnout. You only have one life, so why not make the most of it?
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