How to Know if You Are OverworkedJun 17, 2022
Are you feeling constantly tired? Are you struggling to keep up with your workload? If so, you may be overworked. Being overworked can harm your health, relationships, and work performance. Therefore, it's essential to identify the signs of being overworked before it's too late. This blog post will discuss the signs of being overworked and what you can do about it.
Overworking should not be the norm.
Overworking means working longer than usual hours and doing a workload beyond what one person can do to exhaustion. It is not uncommon to hear people working beyond 40 hours a week. It may sound ridiculous, but it does happen. You are fortunate if your company doesn't overwork you and believes in providing its employees with a healthy work-life balance. For other people, their companies might have a work culture that thinks overworking people is standard practice. As an employee, you might not have much of a say in your organization's policy, but you still have the option to move out if you can. It's vital to know the signs of overwork before it affects your physical and mental health to decide whether to continue working in your current job or find a better option elsewhere.
1. Your health is taking a toll
The most obvious sign you are overworked is when you start to have more health issues than usual. Any of the following things can happen if you work more than the standard hours:
- Increased blood pressure
- Weight gain due to overeating as a way of coping
- Weight loss due to lack of time to do exercise or not eating properly
- Frequent headaches
- Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted even when not doing anything
- Increased levels of stress can lead to depression and anxiety
- Getting sickly due to a compromised immune system
- Feeling emotionally tired
The list of health problems can go on and can even lead to death. Treating yourself with medications and seeing the doctor can help in the short term, but working overtime for a prolonged period can eventually lead to more severe conditions, such as heart attack. You have to notice the warning signs in your health and seriously consider changing your work environment if you see it's almost impossible to change the situation in your workplace.
2. Twenty-four hours don't seem to be enough for a day
Working long hours is the primary characteristic of overwork, and overtimes are part of your life already. An overworked employee must work extra hours almost daily or even constantly. The company culture might dictate that they operate such hours, or they might be throwing the workload of two or three people to a single person. In addition, cost-cutting measures can make a company skimp on hiring more people, so they may direct their employees to work longer hours. As a result, it's normal for people in such workplaces to have work hours that extend beyond eight hours per day. These people might be inundated with enormous workloads, hence the need to go beyond eight hours working a day. As a result, they may only go home to take some sleep, and then it's time to go to work again the next day.
3. Your family and friends don't recognize you anymore
Overwork leads to a compromised social life. When you spend too much time at work, which can extend even to your house, you now have little time to spend with your family and friends. As a result, you might miss important events in their lives like birthdays, weekend get-togethers, graduation, or simply being there when they need you. It is a challenging situation. On one side, you may reason that your family and friends are the reason why you work hard so you can earn enough money to provide for their needs and spend quality time with them. But, on the other hand, your work schedule is so tight that you may have to work long hours often, thus sacrificing the time you could have spent with your family and friends. Therefore, it's essential to take a moment and ask yourself what is important in your life and try to balance your life so you are not spending too much time on one thing while sacrificing another aspect of your life.
4. You feel like things never get finished
With how much work is given to you in an overworked environment, you will feel like you never get things finished as they continue to pile up. Once you complete a job, here comes another new job to make your day. Your to-do list never seems to run out of tasks; another batch to add to your list comes after checking some. Work can even spill over to your home as you may need to finish work in your house to keep up. Your boss may even continue to call you or send work e-mails, so it feels like there's never a time to rest. You feel like you always have to be in "work" mode.
5. There's no more time for your passion
Overworked employees spend a lot of their time at work, so they feel there's never enough time for anything else outside of work. As a result, personal time with family and friends gets compromised, and alongside it, the time to do your passion. Also, many people who feel overworked may put their passions on the sidelines. It can lead to increased stress as you get frustrated doing something for a long time that doesn't give you joy and fulfillment, but you have to do it anyway for the money. You may also be passionate about your work initially, but as the demands of work increase over time, you may have lost that feeling and only see work as a means to earn money.
What can I do to have a healthy work-life balance?
Many people would leave their overworked situation if it weren't for the risks and consequences. However, the pressures of life and the need to pay for daily necessities and bills can prevent one from changing their situation for the better. So people stick with working long hours, feeling overworked, and incurring the most common signs of failing health.
When trying to change your situation, analyze first whether it's your company who's forcing you to overwork or it's a personal decision. It can be challenging to leave your current work with an overworked culture if you haven't found a better opportunity elsewhere, especially if the pay is drastically lower than your current job. However, it's easier to make changes if only you are involved in overworking yourself. Take a moment to analyze your life if you have trouble disconnecting from work. You might have become a workaholic and acquired a desire to keep earning money to keep up with trends, or maybe you derive much fulfillment from working. When things take a toll on one's personal life, such as taking time away from your family and hobbies or feeling stressed and drained often, it could be time to evaluate what matters to your life. Maybe it's time to give focus on them and change your work attitude. While contemplating, it might also be an excellent time to revisit your passions and perhaps pursue a career following them. Whatever you decide to do, be it leaving your company or prioritizing essential things in your life aside from work, ensure that you don't compromise your finances as we still need money to live after all.
Being overworked is not a badge of honor. It can be a side effect of poor management and implementation of work policies. The employees suffer from it, such as having poor sleep quality due to lack of time to rest and incurring mental and physical symptoms of failing health. However, changes can happen, and people can take the initiative to express their management concerns, and hopefully, the higher-ups will do something about it. Also, overworked people should realize their situation and not stay quiet. Then, one can act and make the necessary changes to one's work conditions. A better opportunity might give you a lower salary, but it can provide something more significant than money in the long run.