Have you ever woken up feeling completely exhausted and frustrated that you have to go back to work? Many working professionals lose track of the amount of hours they work in a week and they end up finding themselves in this exact position. This is an indication that you could be experiencing employee burnout. Employee burnout is physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by working too many hours. While you might think that the extra work you are putting in will make you more productive, it can actually have long-term negative effects. Eventually, burnout will lead to a lack of enthusiasm, decreased motivation, and general sense of displeasure with the job. If you push yourself to the limits, you risk damage to your physical and emotional health. If you are worried that you are on the fast track to burnout, here are nine signs that you may be working too much.
If you find yourself feeling completely exhausted all the time, this is a sign you could be working too much. An overload of stress and work hours can make it difficult to relax and can lead to extreme fatigue. Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of more serious health problems so it’s critical to cut back on your hours in order to catch up on sleep.
One of the first signs that you may be experiencing burnout is the inability to concentrate and remember important things. As a result, you might slip up and make careless mistakes that are out of character for you. If you find yourself making more mistakes than usual, it’s time to stop and evaluate what might be causing the problem.
- Extreme Stress and Anxiety
It’s ok to be focused on your work and take it seriously but your work shouldn’t be taking over your life. If you find yourself worried, stressed, and anxious all the time it might be a result of working too much. If you have too much on your plate, this can lead to extreme stress and anxiety which can cause a number of mental and physical problems.
- You’re Getting Sick
When you deplete your energy reserves, you are more vulnerable to illness such as cold and viruses. If you are working too much, your body isn’t getting the rest it needs to perform properly which can cause you to get sick more easily. You might also begin suffering from muscle stiffness, body aches, and weight loss.
- You Have a Negative Attitude
No one expects you to be singing your job’s praises all of the time but if you find yourself becoming more and more cynical, it could be a result of burnout. If you are spending too much time at work, you aren’t able to shift your thoughts and de-stress. This can lead to mood changes and resentment.
- You Can’t Remember the Last Time You Had a Vacation
Stop and think about the last time you went on vacation. It didn’t have to be a fancy tropical vacation or a European getaway, but just a few days to get away and do something fun. If an image doesn’t pop into your head right away, chances are you are long overdue for a vacation. It’s important to take some time to disconnect from work and spend time relaxing.
- You’re Missing Time with Friends and Family
While it’s not uncommon to get pulled into a last-minute meeting from time to time, your work shouldn’t be preventing you from having a social life or spending time with your family. If you find yourself missing your kids’ soccer games and cancelling on your friends every weekend, there’s a good chance you should reevaluate your work schedule. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important.
If you were once a sociable and lively person and all of sudden you have become quiet and distant, you mustn’t turn your cheek. Working too much can cause you to experience feelings of hopelessness and loneliness and these feelings should be addressed immediately.
- You Are Constantly Thinking About Work
When you put in too many hours on the job, it can be difficult to turn your brain off and redirect your thoughts. This can make it hard to concentrate on other things outside of work. You might find it hard to carry on a conversation with a spouse or friend and you might find yourself dreaming about work. You need downtime to re energize your mind and body, so if work is consuming your thoughts it’s probably time to cut back.