Five classic signs that you’re working too hard

Feeling irritable and burned out? It’s probably time to take a well-earned break…

It’s great to be diligent, but sometimes we can go too far and let work take over our lives. If you feel as though work is taking control of your life rather than the other way around, it may be time to take things a little easier. Here are some of the classic warning signs:

  1. Your social life is suffering. Texts and calls have gone unanswered, and you don’t have time to sit and chat with your loved ones the way you used to. Even your social media presence has taken a hit. Perhaps it’s been going on so long that people have stopped reaching out to you altogether. If so, it’s important that you take a break and make time for the key people in your life.
  2. Your body is complaining. That back and neck pain is getting worse, you’ve put on weight and your heart is constantly racing. Perhaps you’re always battling some sort of infection or illness, or you feel stressed, dizzy and overwhelmed. Whatever the signs, your body is trying to tell you something. Take a break, take a walk, take a shower and take some exercise!
  3. Your mood is constantly low. It’s normal to have good and bad days, but if you feel like you’re more down than up, something needs to give. Perhaps you’re snapping at people more or you feel permanently frustrated and irritable. People may have noticed that you’re not your normal self. If so, heed their advice and give yourself some much-needed rest.
  4. Your productivity is waning. People always used to comment on how efficient you are, but these days you’re forgetting things and falling behind with your work. Simple tasks are taking longer than they should and – horror of horrors – you’ve started making mistakes. These are classic signs that you’re overdoing it. Not only are you suffering, but your work is too. This should be enough to tell you that it’s time to focus on something else for a while. And by the time you’re back at your desk, you’ll feel much fresher and in a better place to get things done.
  5. You can’t switch off. You’re starting early and finishing late, but even when you’re not working you’re thinking about everything you need to do. It’s all you ever talk about, and you’re even lying awake at night worrying. This is really unhealthy, and it should set alarm bells ringing. It’s vital that you have some downtime, away from all the worries and politics of your work setting. If your health, body, lifestyle and relationships are suffering, do something about it today, before it’s too late!

Psalm 127:2: “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”