It is one thing to be dedicated to your tasks and making sure you put in the hours, and it’s another thing to not know when those tasks have become too much. I recently had to ask myself hard questions about my “work ethic”. Do I know when to stop? Do I know when to say no to some projects?
I almost cried tears of frustration after realizing iv been doing too much with little results. I quickly realized that I have been working hard, but not working smart. I really got to understand what the term “rat race” actually means:
The sad thing is I work from home and that means I created my own rat race. I have been working against the clock trying to get academic papers published, do fieldwork for my Ph.D. project, build up my consultancy and, and, and. It is a lot, I finally admit.
Here are some signs that you are taking on too much (from my own experience)
- you are always exhausted
- you dread waking up to start the same routine
- you become dependent on some sort of mood-altering substance (caffeine, alcohol) under the guise of “coping” or “getting through the day”
- when people ask you what you have been up to, you always say “working”
I thought the more tasks I have, the more productive I am being. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I had to admit that feeling tired, frustrated and almost always overwhelmed is not making my work any lighter or my life any easier. Risking my mental and physical health in the name of work is also not anything I want to do. This realization was a turning point for me last week. I decided to take a break for the whole weekend and take stock of what is important. Yes, I am still going to be busy this week, but I am pacing myself. Work is good, but it must not kill me in the process.
Have a productive week!