Redefining Success | Resorting Life Balance
break free from overworking
#6 Break Free From Overworking
Do you jump out of bed feeling alive or do you drag yourself to the kitchen to load up on caffeine to get your brain going, to fight another day?
Overwork can lead to exhaustion; not just physical exhaustion but mental exhaustion too.
We’ve all been there, trying to get the hours in to achieve a goal or live up to the expectations of others with our lives ending up consumed by work and the mental load it can bring. This situation is never going to lend itself well to a greater life balance or your ultimate happiness.
But, how have we gone from being free-spirited, young and aspirational, to overworked, overwhelmed and tired adults?
Is your workload or employer pushing you to achieve more than is realistically possible? Are your goals and perfectionism zapping your life away in order to meet your own expectations? Are you simply taking on too much of everything, not confident enough to reach out for help?
Here are some classic ROOT CAUSES to the issue:
SOCIAL NORMS – These are the ones that are telling you that you have to work hard to make sure you hit the ‘milestones’ like marriage, mortgage, kids, career etc. Norms function to provide order and predictability in society. Overall people want approval and belonging, and those who do not follow the norms will suffer disapproval or may even be outcast from others.
EXPECTATIONS – either yours or those of the people around you. Family, friends, colleagues, clients, society; you get the picture. We tend to try to live up to the expectations or what we perceive to be the expectations of others. Have you ever asked the question as to what is being expected of you or have you decided what these are yourself?
PROMOTERS – The news, social media, advertising, commercial propaganda. These will all tell you what you should be aspiring to and the goals that you should be working towards but are they really what your heart desires or are they actually keeping you penned in and broke? These are the visions of others, in order to achieve their own goals. Switch off to them and you may be surprised at how different your own desires are when you have properly tuned in.
In reality, there are probably a hundred more reasons and variables as to why someone is overworked and overwhelmed. Until we look at where we are and what we actually want and need out of life, we can’t possibly start to rectify the situation. But, living like this, on repeat, will only have negative consequences, down the line, if you don’t make the necessary changes to reclaim your balance NOW.
To make the change now, you need to get off of the perpetual ‘merry-go-round’
From where you are, start making a time audit of everything in your day, for the next 7 days. Look back after this time and you might be surprised at the results. Take some time to really analyse where you are overstretched and what the issue is, to you personally.
Working smarter instead of harder is key. This will help you to claim back as much time as possible to do the things that will bring you greater results.
Finding as much joy in our lives should be one of our greatest goals with everything else working in alongside. Work should be there to complement this and not take centre stage.
By looking at your existing habits, you can look at the bigger picture and figure out what areas need changing. Where do you waste the most time and where can you rework your schedule to bring maximum efficiency and effective time management. Where can you ask for help?
Also, creating boundaries and making space for ‘downtime’ is essential for an effective life balance.
Here are some handy tips to keep the harmony in an over-stretched day:
- Routine – create a routine so you have one less obstacle to challenge you every day. This will at least give others an idea of when you will be free and when you are not. Schedule in specific times for work, family and personal time.
- Keep a diary – keeping track of all appointments, dates and events is an impossible task without some way of noting them in the same place. Whether your preference is a good old fashioned hardback or a more streamlined digital diary system, make a point to keep it up to date and check in with it first thing in the morning so you are prepared for the day ahead.
- Plan – planning goes a long way to keep you organised and efficient which could help if you are overworking yourself. As you should check your diary at the beginning of the day, assess your diary and the requirements for the week before it starts. If your week starts on a Monday, use Sunday evening to check in with what you need to achieve or do in the coming days so that you can feel prepared. When this is done, use it as a marker to start your wind downtime, hopefully feeling more in control and at peace.
- Take breaks – this is especially important if you work from home. It’s all too tempting to work through lunch etc., but by taking a break and stepping away for even the shortest of periods can refresh your focus and can increase your productivity. A great tip is the Pomodoro technique which uses timed work periods and rests breaks in between, check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykMzzZolhdk
- Rest – making sure that we schedule in a sensible bedtime as well as some time to ‘chill out’ after a long day gives our bodies and our brains a chance to slow down and recuperate. Make sure you are taking enough time to relax before hitting the hay to give yourself the best chance of a good night of sleep. Lack of sleep or good quality sleep will only compound the issue.
- Outsource – if you are finding it difficult to keep up with all of the demands of life and work, take a look at what you can outsource. Could you take on a cleaner to make your home a more relaxing place to be? Would a gardener give you back some time at the weekends to be able to go and see family? If you run a business as I do, would an extra pair of hands be useful? I quickly realised that I couldn’t wear all of the hats in my business as it was eating into my efficiency as well as my life. My solution was to outsource some of the tasks that took me away from what I did best, so I hired a freelance assistant.
- Have firm boundaries – how many times have you agreed to do something for someone or said ‘yes’ to something when you know that you will struggle to fit it all in? Having firm boundaries will let people know when not to approach you and say ‘no’ when you are under pressure is OK. Too many people think that they will be letting someone down if they can’t agree to every job, function, requirement etc. Being a ‘Yes’ person isn’t healthy in the long run and can only add to your stress levels. Be strong and learn to decline!
Only when you can see where you are going wrong can you make the changes to get the results you have wanted. Being overworked is not a situation anybody wants to be in, even when they love what they do. We have to make sure our lives are in equilibrium and balanced to give all areas enough focus to maintain our health and wellbeing.
We all need to take a breather sometimes and this is your CALL TO ACTION!
Make an analysis and work from there. Make sure you implement some changes that make a difference immediately and the rest will follow.
If you need further help, book a call with me and we can establish some boundaries that you need to make and where you can implement changes to bring the life you are searching for. Reaching out for help is a strength, not a weakness that we are so often led to believe.
Download my E-Book for a more in-depth look at this ever-increasing problem. It may bring even more clarity to your situation and, you never know, it may change your life forever!
Get the download here – https://1.gotoyellow.co.uk/exclusive-ebook