Guest Post by Andrew Brushfield
Can you remember the last time you had a holiday? What about the last full weekend you spent that didn’t involve you checking your phone or email account on a regular basis?
The chances are high that you’re not alone. In this technologically-driven day and age, work and life have become inextricably linked and for many people there really isn’t ever a switch between the two, but rather a merging.
While it’s fantastic to love your work and to be passionate about your career, there’s a big difference between a healthy level of interest and living it 24/7. In fact you might be suffering from working too hard.
Here are eight signs that you might be working too hard and headed for burnout.
- You always feel tired, rundown, weak, lethargic or like you have a cold coming on
- You constantly feel stressed, or feel like your mind is running in circles
- You are chained to your desk, phone, email or social media pages daily
- You’re moody and snap at people easily
- You care less about the quality of your work and attention to detail, and more about just “getting it done”
- You’re skipping duties at home
- You hardly see your family or friends, let alone spend quality time together
- Strangers mention that you look rushed, stressed or unwell
It is common for people to feel that they need to keep running on the wheel of work, work, work in order to retain their jobs in an unstable market, to pay off bills or a mortgage, or to give their family more. However, these same people often neglect to consider the many negative side effects of an excessive level of work. Working too hard can, in fact, lead very quickly to burnout, excessive weight gain, acute or long-term illness, and other health issues.
Furthermore, having a dependence on work and not spending quality time with family and friends (let alone helping out at home), can also wreck havoc on relationships.
In order to stay creative, innovative and energised about work, it is important you take regular breaks. Apart from taking weekends off and cutting working hours down during the week, it’s also vital to have a holiday and change of scenery on occasions throughout the year.
We hear from a lot of people who have just come back from their first holiday in years, who suddenly realise how much they need to change either their jobs or their career direction. That time away alerts them to the fact that they’re no longer passionate about their work or need to start working towards unrealised dreams.
If you find yourself identifying with many of the signs of excessive work, it’s time to stop, take a breather and step back to re-evaluate your life. It’s easy to fall into the trap of working constantly, but you need to ask yourself if the end results are worth it – not just for you, but for the sake of your health and your relationships.
Andrew Brushfield is the Director of Victoria & New Zealand at Robert Half, and is based in our Melbourne office. He was originally an accountant at the Smorgon Group and has spent the past 13 years in the recruitment industry throughout Asia Pacific. In Australia, Andrew excelled in placing senior level finance professionals within a vast range of industries, with particular expertise in the FMCG and IT / Telecommunications industry.