Few topics are as subjective as work life balance, being stress tolerance varies from individual to individual & some people are more prone burning out than others. So how do you know if how much work you can take before you start to burn out.
Having a good work life balance has an abundance of benefits like increased productivity at work or preventing loss of passion at a job you really like.
Well since everyone is different we usually recommend looking at yourself, do you show any signs of burnout? Maybe you're starting to dread going to work everyday?
Today, we're going to list a few common problems you face when you're overworked and also some ways to relieve stress and hopefully help you breathe new life into your job!
- Why Is Work Life Balance So Important?
- 3 Signs That You Are Overworked
- 3 Ways To Get Your Career Back On Track
- Our Closing Thoughts
Why is work life balance so important?
Having good work life balance is important for a variety of reasons, but there are two main ones that we want to point out.
First, having a good work life balance makes you happier & healthier. Working too many hours a week will increases your anxiety & stress levels which directly increases your risk of stroke, insomnia & depression, which is probably not what you want.
So finding the right balance is crucial for you to be in a healthier/happier place.
Secondly, having proper work life balance actually helps you perform better at work. We always believed that having more hours at work does not mean you're doing a good job. In fact, that will probably have the opposite result on your performance.
Our social culture has led many people to believe that "more hours means more success" might actually be doing more harm than good to your work performance.
Overworking will lead to burnout & exhaustion which will increase your chances of making a mistake at work which makes those extra hours virtually pointless.
3 Signs That You Are Overworked
There are definitely more than 3 signs a person can look at to tell if they are overworked, but because everyone's stress threshold is different, so we the more subtle signs might vary from person to person.
So we picked out 3 of the most common ones so that you can accurately determine if you are overworked.
1. Loss of Passion
No job is perfect, no matter how much you love your job! You probably have at least one or two things that you dislike about it, but even if you don't have any complaints, doing what you love is STILL work, and you will need a break from time to time.
If you don't take a break, those one or two things that you dread? You will soon start to dread them even more than the ten things you LOVE about your job can cover for.
If left unchecked, you WILL burn out and begin to doubt your career choice, even if it was your dream job all along. That, would be a shame.
2. Decreased Job Productivity
We all have bad days at work, days when we knew that we did not perform our best or even downright terrible. If you find yourself having more and more of "these" days. You might be overworked.
As our work hours go up, so do our stress and exhaustion levels. This makes you less efficient and decreases your job competency level, and it will only get worse if left alone.
Our social culture has given many people the illusion that spending long hours at work is directly related to success. We would argue that it's not entirely true, spending more unproductive hours at work is not only bad for you, it gives you more room to make mistakes and might even get you in trouble with your boss.
So cut yourself some slack and take a break when you really need to!
3. Emotional Instability
This one is a complicated one and probably requires a little help from your friends and family.
When you work too many hours in a week, the stress and exhaustion takes a toll on your brain leading to anxiety, anger/bad mood or in more severe cases, depression.
You might experience random anger outbursts or have a feeling that you are "stuck" and not moving at all despite all the work you put in, which would lead to more hours put into work to "make up" for that.
If any of this sound familiar to you or if your friends and family have talked to you about your emotional instability, don't brush them off because most people won't even be aware of this problem until it escalates.
Listen to those around you and get it fixed early!
3 Ways To Get Your Career Back On Track
When you are overworked, the last thing you should do is brush it off. If you just leave it, it will start to snowball into a more severe and potentially dangerous problem.
If you are looking to take steps to balance out your work life, we have listed out 3 ways you could do that. In fact, anyone that has a rather good work life balance are probably incorporating these methods in some way.
1. Leave work at work
We've all done it at some point, bringing our unfinished work home in order to meet the deadline. It's actually fine to do this on occasion, but it could for some people become a bad habit for various reasons.
Perhaps the most common one is getting in the habit of bringing work home EVERYDAY. This group of people often tell themselves at work that it's okay to leave unfinished work because they can just take it home.
When they get home they continue working which means they spend longer hours completing something that they more often than not could have finished at work. These hours will add up and will lead to exhaustion as time goes on.
Our advice is to leave work at work. What does that mean? Well during the working day try to be as productive and efficient as you can and complete as much of your work when you're actually at work.
What happens if you truly can't finish it during the working day, well we believe there's no shame in leaving it to the next day!
2. Have fun with your colleagues
Many people see their colleagues as people they work with, but they forget that they are people as well and could be feeling the same as you.
It's always beneficial to be friends with people you work with, it could give you some much need motivation to head to work and would also make work that much enjoyable for you.
Grab a meal, have some drinks after work. There's no better way to end the day than to de stress with people you find fun, it will be a real game changer to your work!
3. Take a vacation
Who doesn't love vacations. There's a common misconception that you have to take really long vacations and most people wait to the end of the year before they take their vacations.
If you're feeling a little burnt out, don't wait to the end of the year. Why not take a few days just to relax and get your head straight. You've probably heard of the term "staycation" which is a short getaway at a local hotel usually with a loved one or friends.
If you're looking for places to stay, there are many awesome luxurious local hotels that can really help with your burnout. For example Grand Hyatt Singapore, they offer top notch service and rooms and are in our opinion, one of the best places to go for your next staycation!
If you're feeling the stress from work, give this one a try, we promise you won't be disappointed!
Our Closing Thoughts
Studies have shown that overworking/burnout has been a more common problem since Covid hit, why? Because more people are working from home, when you're at home you technically don't have "fixed working hours".
Because of this, it becomes more difficult to draw the line between work & rest, so people tend to carry on working throughout the day and feel guilty for taking breaks because they think "I was home all day so I've been slacking off".
With this mindset it's easy to get carried away and end up racking up more working hours in week than when you were actually leaving for work.
So in our honest opinion, if the lines between work & rest have been blurred to such a degree, it just means that you will have to take it upon yourself to set the boundaries, maybe no work after 6pm or if you're going to be more active in the evening then start a little later.
These are just some of the supposed advantages of working from home and we believe it's up to you to work smart.
Aim to achieve quality rather than quantity! More hours does not necessarily mean better results.
Define your work life balance, you definitely owe yourself that!