Are you working too hard? Whenever we start a new job, it’s easy to settle into a particular routine. It’s because we are eager to impress. We might put in long hours to show our worth. Take on tasks above and beyond what should be reasonably required.
As time passes, that initial “eager beaver” routine can actually become a bad habit. It is important to maintain a work-life balance and not become a workaholic.
Here are some signs to watch out for which indicate that you are working too hard.
* Getting to the office earlier than everyone else, staying later than everyone else. This is a clear sign that your work-life balance is off kilter.
* Staying late often. This is a sign you are working too hard.
* Bringing home work at night and at the weekends. This is also a sign you are overworking.
* Not taking breaks during the day. You should really only be working for eight hours a day maximum. Have several breaks throughout the day including a lunch break. You should take these breaks to refresh and recharge your batteries and make sure that you are eating and drinking properly. You can’t put in a good performance if you have an empty fuel tank.
* Not taking your vacation days – Americans get few enough paid vacation days compared with countries like Germany and the UK, so be sure to take every day you are entitled to.
* Struggling into work even when you are sick – This can jeopardize your health and also make your colleagues ill. If you really have to work, see if you can work from home.
* Not getting enough sleep – You need eight hours of high-quality to recharge your batteries. Do not make your bedroom into an office.
* Not saying no – You might have a boss who makes unreasonable demands upon you, and you are afraid to say no because you are worried about getting fired. However, if you don’t maintain a good work-life balance, you won’t stay healthy, and you might lose the job anyway.
This being the case, it is important to look at your work load in one of two ways.
Is it reasonable? If it is reasonable, are there ways that you can do it more efficiently in order to free up your time to have more breaks and not have to work more than eight hours per day? Try time management and productivity tools to help you work smarter, not harder.
* Not knowing where all the hours are going – If you have no idea where all the hours in your day are going, a time diary or time log that keeps track of what you do throughout the day every 15 minutes or so can help you pinpoint patterns. Make sure that you are not overworking because you are not working efficiently enough.
* Not delegating – You might be such a perfectionist that you think you are the only person who can do a job well. The truth is there are many different ways to do jobs. In some cases, we can even find people who can do them even better than we can. Delegate and free up your time for the important things, including regular meals, breaks and time for fun.
* Having lots of small aches and pains – This can be a sign you are sitting and working too much, and not allotting time for exercise.
* Feeling stressed and angry all the time – The pressure on you is only going to build to the point that you blow a gasket. Start making more time to do the things you love, and get back in balance.
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