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It is the greatest feeling to work hard towards your goals and achieve success. The question is what is the line between working hard and overworking? Employees often push themselves to their limits in order to achieve their goals. What starts as a path to success can turn into burnout. According to a survey done by APA, 71% of employees feel stressed or tense during the workday, they are disregarding their mental health for work. It begs the question how can overworking be fixed?
What is overworking?
If you feel like you're exceeding your capacity at work and feeling stressed or tired most of the time, you're likely suffering from overwork. Overwork is when you work too hard, too much, or too long. Employees often feel like they need to do much more than they can handle for example finishing their tasks much earlier than the deadline. They also forget or purposely do not take breaks.
Overwork your health negatively. While they are trying to go above and beyond employees who overwork often get incapacitated from pushing themselves to their limits. This situation is not beneficial either for the employee or the company.
What are the signs you are overworked?
Some employees are unable to recognize the signs of overworking. They are so wrapped up in their work that oftentimes they overlook the symptoms. Being constantly tired, stressed, and having health problems should not be normalized. So here is a list of symptoms so that you know when to stop pushing yourself to your limits.
Lack of sleep
Overworking can lead to symptoms such as lack of sleep and it does so in different ways. Employees can waive sleep in order to continue working. It results in a tired mind and body carrying on with working. Even If they don’t pull an all-nighter, their sleep schedule is often messed up. Lack of sleep results in many mistakes being made in their work.
Increases in stress
Stress is the enemy of the body and mind; you could be overworking to not deal with stress in the future, but in most cases, it has the opposite effect. Constantly working and not taking enough breaks are known to cause stress. Unfortunately, it is more common than you think, 822,000 workers are suffering from work-related stress in Great Britain.
When you overwork, you suffer from symptoms such as difficulty focusing and forgetting details. Overworking creates a vicious cycle, many employees work too much for too long that which causes them to not be able to work at all due to not being able to focus. This results in the tasks piling up and causes more stress on the mind.
Immune system issues
Did you know that overworking can cause your immune system to overwork as well? It is a known fact that when the immune system doesn’t work it is an open invitation to diseases. When your immune system works too much that can cause autoimmune disease. Overworking does not only cause burnout, but it can do irreversible harm to your body as well.
Performance problems at work
The best way to do your job is by using 4d’s: do, defer, delegate, and delete but when you try to do everything all at once, it will only result in burnout. This negative feeling can affect productivity and morale. Employees often have performance problems at work because they overwork themselves.
What are the causes of feeling overworked?
Even If you are working your dream job it is still possible to feel overworked. Because when you're overworked, it's difficult to have a passion for your job. There are multiple reasons a person can feel that way, from not having a work-life balance to fear of missing deadlines.
Lack of work-life balance
Working is important, it can bring meaning to your life, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you do with your life. That is why to avoid overworking you should try to balance your work and life. Spending time with friends and family is important for reducing stress and improving productivity because socializing is as important as working. Also during this time, you should avoid checking email or social media.
Heavy workloads and poor communication from management
When employees are overloaded with work, they experience more stress. Sharing information about company goals, other team members' work, and the status of various initiatives help employees prioritize their workload and stay focused on their tasks. Providing team members with the context they need to succeed is key to preventing overwork. A workplace that prioritizes their employee should help them avoid overworking.
Pressure to meet deadlines
The top reasons employees feel overworked are employer expectations and meeting deadlines. Many employees disregard their health to finish their work at hard-to-meet deadlines. If you are expected to do so much in little time, it's important to talk to your manager about it. Bringing up overwork during meetings or requesting a 1:1 meeting can help your manager understand your situation.
What are the tips for managing being overworked at work?
It is not only possible but necessary to avoid overworking. Other than making your work quality drop it causes mental and physical health problems. You should be valued as an employee not overworked until you burn out. Here are a few suggestions that can help you feel motivated and productive at work. So, you can once again find pleasure and fulfillment doing your job.
Define your work-life balance
You are so much more than the work you do; you are a person so you should treat yourself as such. Limiting your work hours to improves your overall productivity and stress levels. Make time for socializing and hobbies even if that means meeting in person or calling and texting friends regularly. Remember not to check your phone while hanging out with friends because it can still feel like working
Taking regular vacations was also found to be beneficial for work-life balance. It helps you relax and return to your job better than ever.
Take breaks when you need to
Taking time for yourself and enjoying the small things in life will help you manage stress better. Therefore, to have a better working experience you must take breaks. You can use this time to stretch and drink some coffee. You can also have a chat with your co-workers which will definitely improve your morale. To know how much you work and when to take a break you can track your time. BeforeSunset has the simplest time-tracking option that will help you with your overworking problem.
Be aware of the signs of being an overworked employee
Overworking can cause several negative effects, including difficulty relaxing, stress, and gaining weight. They also include being unable to complete a to-do list and seeing your health deteriorate. If you catch these signs early, it is possible to reverse these effects and take a break. When your body and mind relax, you will find working so much easier.
When you know the signs of overworking you can work smarter, not harder by taking short breaks and blocking out time for non-urgent e-mails. Prioritize and schedule your tasks in a way that makes the most sense for you. It is important to delegate tasks to others in order to reduce stress. When tasks are delegated, it gives the individual more control over their work and reduces stress. Think of your home as a sanctuary where you can escape the pressures of work so don’t bring work to your home.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself, this includes taking breaks, healthy eating, and being mindful of your mental health. Taking regular breaks can help recharge tired muscles, clear your head, and improve your mental focus. Avoid overworking yourself by making a schedule and sticking to it. Set healthy boundaries for your work.
To prevent burnout, take care of your body, mind, and soul by eating better, moving better, and sleeping better. Invest in your "me time" to recharge and relax.