Since the 1970s, the average number of working hours has steadily risen. Today, we work longer and harder to pay the bills.
At the same time, we tend to make work a priority over everything else in life. We spend way more time working than we do with our family and friends. Oftentimes, we work so much that we neglect our physical and mental health.
Are you working too much? Could you benefit from a break?
Cheer up, because we have some good news: We know how you can fix it.
In this article, I’ll discuss five signs that you’re working too hard, and offer some solutions on how to fix the problem.
Problem #1: You Can’t Stop Thinking About Work
Is work is all-consuming for you? If you can’t relax in the evenings (or ever), it’s time to make some changes.
A lot of people have a hard time unplugging when they’re done working.
You might be obsessing over an upcoming deadline. Or, you're thinking about whether a client is happy. When you're so fixated on work, it's tough to focus on the things you really enjoy.
At some point, your work fixation is going to infiltrate other areas of your life. Before you know it, it will affect your relationships, health, and happiness.
I realize this sounds depressing. But here’s the good news:
You have the power to set boundaries!
There are a few ways to go about doing this. For example, you should set work hours and call it quits at a specific time each day.
And, you should turn off your phone notifications after a certain time. That will eliminate the temptation to look at your phone!
I understand that there are times when you have to stay late at work to finish a project. But as long as you strive to leave the office by a specific time each day, you should be able to regain some work-life balance.
Problem #2: You’re Becoming Forgetful
Stress and forgetfulness are intimately linked. When you allow work to stress you out, you’ll start to forget little things where you put your car keys and when you last did laundry.
You could even wake up to find that you missed an important meeting (oops!).
It’s okay to feel a bit of work-related pressure every once in a while. But when your job starts to affect your memory, it’s time to make some changes.
You should start by writing everything down. Get a planner or to-do list that you can reference every day. Leave yourself reminders so that you don’t forget upcoming meetings or deadlines.
If writing down tasks isn’t your thing, download a to-do list or productivity app for your phone.
At the same time, you should continue to set boundaries in your work life. Together, boundaries and a calendar can help you to get your brain back on the right track.
Problem #3: Your Health is Suffering
After working nonstop for years, your health will eventually start to suffer.
People respond to stress in different ways. You might get stomach aches, experience depression, or lose your hair.
You may experience a little bit of everything!
When you start to show physical symptoms of stress, you have to find a solution.
Taking a mental health day is beneficial, but that’s only a temporary fix. Think of ways you can cut back on work to feel better, both physically and mentally.
One solution is carving out enough time for daily walks. Even twenty minutes of walking (without looking at your phone) can have enormous benefits for your health.
Another idea is to talk to your boss. Ask them if you can hand off some of your responsibilities to someone else. That way, you’ll be able to offload some of the tasks that are weighing you down.
Don’t make excuses when your health is at stake.
It’s best to come up with ways to cut back now. You don't want to struggle with heart disease or another health condition down the line!
Problem #4: You’re No Longer Socializing with Friends and Family
If work is affecting your social life, that presents a problem. It tells you that you need to get your work-life balance in check.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to work hard to impress your employer or client. At some point, however, you must put your needs first.
If you’re starting to neglect your relationships to work, then there’s an issue.
Before saying no to loved ones becomes a habit, take the time to call up a few people. Ask them if they’d like to hang out!
It’ll be nice to reconnect with the people you haven’t seen in a while. Spending time with them will also remind you how important it is to set work aside. It's important to enjoy quality time with loved ones!
Problem #5: You’re Chasing After New Projects (Even Though You’re Already Busy)
Why on earth are you looking for more work when you’re already overwhelmed.
It doesn’t make sense, but many of us feel the need to take on new projects even when we’re already swamped.
Maybe you’re trying to pay off some debt or save money for a home. It’s nice to have cash, but you can’t overdo it.
Take on too much, and your work may blow up in your face!
There’s only one of you. That’s why it’s in your best interest to only do what you have time for, and nothing more. If a boss keeps handing you more and more work, let them know that your plate is already full.
I mean, let’s be honest:
When you take on too many projects, your work starts to suffer. You simply can’t put 100% effort into everything.
Learn how to say no to new work when you’re already busy, and you’ll have more energy to focus on the work you have.
You’re not doing yourself any favors by being a workaholic. So, it’s time to get your habit under control.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting you quit your job. But I am recommending you take a step back and find balance.
Overworking can affect your physical and mental health, and even your personal relationships. Don’t let workaholism have that kind of impact on your life.
Luckily, the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. And if you’ve read this far, the problem is probably pretty clear.
So, start making changes ASAP. Correct your workaholic ways and pave the way to a well-balanced career. Only then will you feel content to live your best life with zero regrets!
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at 7403, a luxury apartment community in Los Angeles. She has been a team member since the doors opened at the community and takes great pride in providing superior service.