If you’re employed, working an extra shift or taking on extra responsibilities is fairly common for employees that want to show their dedication to their company. After all, we’re usually compensated for the extra work we do and our managers will show some level of appreciation. There are times when this is unavoidable, such as when another employee is off sick and the team needs to collectively pick up the slack. If you are self-employed, it is no different; we can end up working 60 hours+ a week as it can be hard to let go. This ultimately will affect your wellbeing.
Unfortunately, getting accustomed to working extra hours or extra shifts can be very unhealthy. Long working hours can cause strokes and heart disease which no one wants. Research has shown that working 55 hours or more each week can be associated with a higher risk of stroke and death from heart disease compared to just 35 to 40 hours.
Overworking is a hidden pandemic that is affecting our wellbeing and something I am passionate about, so here are some important signs that you absolutely need to look out for.
Are you more prone to accidents and illness than before?
If it’s common for you to have an accident at work or if you’re getting more ill on a regular basis, then there’s a good chance that you’re being overworked. When people work long hours, they’re more likely to forget basic safety principles and they might be fatigued or tired whenever they work. This can lead to serious accidents depending on the workplace and will drag your health down as well – physically and mentally.
If you feel like your health and wellbeing is suffering because of your work, then it’s a good idea to immediately report this to your manager or HR department to see if you can get your hours reduced. If you are self-employed you need to talk to yourself! You need to give yourself some breathing room to help you recover your health, but it’s important not to go back to the same hours or else you’ll end up in the same position.
Do you feel like you don’t have enough time in a day to get things done?
Another common sign of being overworked is feeling like you never have enough time in the day to get things done. This is actually a fairly common sign of job burnout, especially if your workplace has too few hours and you’re working incredibly long shifts. Or if you are putting too much pressure on yourself to succeed. If you feel like these long hours also eat into your free time and you never have room in the day to relax or enjoy your hobbies, then it’s time to start cutting your hours and stop overworking yourself.
If you feel like overtime becomes your regular hours and all you do is work and sleep, then it’s important to speak with your manager/yourself to see if you can reduce the amount that you’re working. This is a very common situation that causes people to feel overworked and it can lead to long-term health problems if it’s not dealt with as soon as possible. Everyone should have plenty of time to themselves in a day so that they can relax and avoid the stress and problems that come with their job.
I will be talking more about this over the next few months focusing on ways to simplify work to free up time.