Becoming someone known for their hard work is something to be proud of. 46% of two-parent families now see both members working full-time, as a result. It’s good to work hard and it’s good to work harder than your co-workers, but you need to be careful with this. Working too hard and becoming stressed is nothing to be proud of. It's certain to cause you problems going forward.
But a lot of people don’t realize they’re working too much. The best workers know when to take a break and when not to sacrifice for their job.
When Free Time Doesn’t Exist
You may be so consumed by your professional reputation that you no longer know what free time is. If you’re spending all your waking hours in the office, you likely don’t have any real hobbies. Think about the last time you took a vacation. If it was five years ago, you know you have a problem.
Sometimes you just need to reflect on your free time. It will help you to understand whether you’re working too hard or not.
When You Seem to Be Carrying the Whole Company
There is a downside to being the hardest worker in the company. You become the target for every single lazy person in the company. They are always going to ask you for help and they are going to shift the responsibility over to you. The moment you prove that you are willing to do that extra work you are going to discover that they will be lining up to give their work to you.
Take a moment to think about whether everyone is pulling their weight. You shouldn’t be carrying the whole company on your back. You shouldn’t be accounting for the mistakes of others.
Learn to say no every so often.
When You Have No Goals Outside of Work
The concept of work is that it is nothing more than a means to an end. Most people work so they have the funds to do what they are passionate about. A lot of people have ambitions to do with family, travel, and experiencing new things. However, you only want to submit that next project or win a promotion.
You need some goals outside of work because that’s what makes life worth living. By all means, be ambitious about advancing in the workplace, but don’t let it define you.
This is why so many older people struggle with retirement. They gave everything to their careers. When that career disappears they find that they no longer have anything to live for. It’s why retirement is far from happy for them.
When You Wake Up at Night Thinking About Work
The hardest workers don’t just spend long hours in the office. They spend long hours thinking about work long after they’ve gone home. Hitting your head on the pillow at night should come before entering the land of dreams. It shouldn’t lead to you thinking over tomorrow's presentation.
A sure-fire sign that you’re overworked is that you never seem to be able to switch off. When you leave the office you shouldn’t be thinking about it any longer.
Furthermore, if you’re always staying awake at night because of work the chances are you are heading for breakdown. Stress is a killer.
When You Can’t Discuss Anything Else
There’s a fine line between being genuinely interested in what you do and becoming obsessed with it. It’s healthy to be a well-rounded individual inside and outside work. But some people are unable to discuss anything other than work. It doesn’t matter what setting they’re in or who they’re surrounded by. They have nothing else on their minds.
This is an embarrassing sign that your career is ruling your life.
When Your Day Relies on What Happened at the Office
The office shouldn’t define you and it shouldn’t define your day. If the company’s quarterly results determine whether you’re going to have a good day or not, it’s time to take a step back. Your day shouldn’t hinge on what happens at work. Unless you’re the founder, you shouldn’t have any personal investment in the company.
Sometimes it takes some self-reflection to come to the realization that you need to make some changes. Think about your relationship with work and whether it’s a healthy one. If not, it may be time to turn down that overtime and refuse to take on that extra work.
Are you working too much?