We all want to get ahead in life and fulfill our ambitions, but sometimes our earnestness can get the better of us. Employers often sniff around workers, trying to figure out whether they can extract more work from them than they pay them in compensation. It’s a dirty tactic, but all too common in ruthless, cost-cutting businesses looking for opportunities to keep their staff down.
Being overworked, however, is potentially dangerous. It can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and in extreme cases, death.
Here are some signs that you’re overworked and what to do about it.
You Can See Your Health Deteriorating
Being overworked can result in many physical side effects.
Losing weight is the most common. People tend to lose weight when they are stressed because of the high levels of cortisol and adrenaline coursing through their bodies. These hormones suppress the hunger response, causing people to skip meals and even forget to eat entirely.
Being overworked can also lead to gaining weight if eating is a way that you deal with negative emotions and stress. You may also find that you start developing aches and pains with no identifiable cause or higher than normal blood pressure.
You Don’t Take Meal Breaks
2019 meal break laws state that all employees are legally entitled to 30 minutes of uninterrupted meal breaks during the day. Many employees, however, feel pressure to waiver their rights and work all the way through.
Doing this day after day is probably a bad idea. Not only do you miss out on opportunities to eat properly, but you also don’t give yourself any time out to relax, recover, and unwind.
Taking meal breaks is a vital component of a normal working day. If you’re feeling tired or burned out, use them as an opportunity to recover.
You Don’t Feel like You Can Get Everything Done in the Day
Many companies looking to cut their wage bills now expect one person to do the job that two or three people might have done in the past. While it reduces costs for the company, it takes a terrible toll on the person shouldered with all the responsibility.
Many workers feel like they cannot possibly get all of their assignments done in a day. Eight to ten hours simply isn’t enough to process all of the work that they need to do. It’s an endless race against the clock, handling your to-do list, which keeps getting longer with each passing hour.
You Feel like You Are Carrying the Weight of the Entire Office
In all organizations, some people work harder than others. If you’re the “go-to” guy for people’s problems, then that overworked person is often you. Often you’re working on the assignments of other people instead of completing your own projects and experiencing the joy of doing that.
Over time, you come to dread meetings because you know that your colleagues will ask you to do something that you can’t fit on your to-do list.