Overworking is bad for your health, here's how you can overcome it
Work from home has become the 'new normal' with overworking as unnecessary baggage on remote workers. This article is a reminder for everyone to take some time out, give yourself a break and work on your habit of overworking for the good of yourself.
Overworking is bad for your health!
All of us love to work, don’t we?
With a slight smirk from the inside and a heavy heart, we say ‘Yes’ to every project that comes across because we love working. It brings us joy and sweet-sweet bills but it’s important to draw a line between ‘working’ and ‘overworking’.
Now, is overworking an indicator of your determination? Does it represent a good work ethic? Does it give you bonuses just for staying in late 6 days a week?
No, it doesn’t. It only leads to physical and mental health problems.
Working long hours to finish a project based on its urgency is different than staying late at the office or working late till night at home ‘regularly’. While the former may have a short-term effect, the latter would have chronic long-term effects, mostly hard to modify.
Mentioned below are some effects of overworking with possible solutions to overcome them;
1) Inefficiency while working
Imagine its 2 am; you are exhausted, hungry, sleepy and in need of a drink. You haven’t slept in a week and you have a presentation at 9 am the next morning. Do you think your mind and body will function the same way as it would have if you had properly distributed time throughout the week and rested? Probably not.
To work in an effectively productive manner, you need to be well-rested to work with a fresh mind. If you are exhausted, your mind will not function properly and the work will not be of optimum quality.
Moreover, you will be losing out on sleep which adversely affects your health.
Balance your time by making a schedule.
Divide your work on a priority basis as per the requirement. This will keep you focused on what’s important and what can wait.
If at a given time, your work requires long working hours, give yourself sufficient breaks. Hit the ‘refresh’ button in intervals.
2) Personal life; server not found!
When you spend all your time working, it’s hard to draw a line between professional and personal life. You do not want to reach this stage and if you do, pause.
Ask yourself these questions:
- When did you last meet your friends?
- When was the last time you went on a date?
- When was the last time you cooked for yourself?
- When was the last time you wore sweatpants and binge-watched a series on Netflix?
If any of these answers are ‘I don’t remember’ or ‘probably a month back’, then my friend you have blurred that line.
Demarcate your work hours, say, 10 am-5 pm and stick to it; no working early or late!
If you’re an office worker, leave your work in the office.
If you’re a remote worker, take weekends off; put your phone on DND and turn off email notifications.
It’s important to realise, work is only a part of your life. You need to give equal attention to other aspects of your life like yourself, your friends and family too.
3) Decline in Creative capacity
You, my friend are a human.
Your brain’s ability to think of new and unique ideas, ways of implementing it and alternative routes of doing it; all decline when you work for extremely long hours.
This is because you strain yourself and are stuck in a loop of monotonous work. You are not taking any breaks and doing the same thing day after day which inhibits your sense of creativity instead of widening it.
Read books, watch movies and documentaries, visit museums and art galleries, attend conferences and seminars.
Allow yourself time to rejevunate to get your creative juices flowing again.
4) Loneliness and Depression seep through
Since you are pretty much working all the time, your best friends are your desk, laptop, diary and the delivery guy.
This. Is. Toxic.
Working alone for god knows, how many hours every day, pressurizing yourself, feeling inadequate, feeling like you haven’t done enough and hence, putting in more hours of work are all signs of depression and loneliness.
You assume you don’t have a personal life since you have lost contact with all your close ones and barely get out of your work station.
You need to get out and socialize. Period.
Being antisocial is only going to create more problems for you. What you need is to go out with your friends to a bar and get drunk, go on coffee dates and go on dinners with your family.
This is a sign for you take a break from work and hit ‘resume’ to your personal life. Give it equal time or even more than the time given to work.
Trust me, you will love it!
And if needed, do not hesitate to talk to a professional. Realise that no one else is going to help you, only you can do that.
5) Give your heart a break!
When you work overtime, your heart also works overtime.
Stress and lack of sleep can take a toll on your heart causing diseases like Coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even cancer.
You don’t want to develop a disease while working right?
Avoid sitting on your desk for long durations.
Include exercise in your working schedule to keep your body functioning normal. Try meditating or practicing yoga to calm your mind, body and soul.
To know more about the health effects of Overworking as written by Harvard Medical School, click
Wrapping it up
These factors are indirect ways in which your body is indicating; you need to take a break and chill. Sometimes, less is more and all you have to do is take a back seat, relax and go with the flow.
Do what is required and listen to your body.