Many professionals would assume it would be easy to determine whether they are overworked. After all, they are experiencing the situation first-hand, so they should be fully aware of whether they are facing more than they can handle.
In reality, people are surprisingly adept at adjusting to shifting work demands in the short term. A brief period of burning the candle at both ends is usually manageable. However, one day, that pace can seemingly become too much, leading even the most adept professionals to crash and burn.
So, how do you know if you are actually overworked? Here are three tell-tale signs that aren’t always as obvious.
Your Attitude Shifted
While practically no one can be a ray of sunshine all day, every day, if you find that your attitude has suddenly gone from typically pleasant to generally irritable, you may be overworked. As stress piles up, it can be harder to handle even the slightest of challenging situations without venting some of your frustration, leading those who are usually perfectly polite to suddenly lack a professional demeanor, or even take their stress out on family members, friends or the cashier at their favorite café.
If this is happening to you, there are things you can do to handle your shift in attitude. First, be mindful during your interactions with others and focus on the positive of every encounter. Then, try to thank those who help you during the day or perform a service for you, as this can help brighten your spirits as well as theirs.
Your Mind Constantly Races
While engaging your mind during the workday is incredibly beneficial to productivity, if you find yourself cycling through the same thoughts or obsessively reworking a problem (especially if you’ve already identified a viable solution), this could be a sign the stress of being overworked is getting to you. This form of thinking can actually increase anxiety, especially if the cycle is coupled with doubt over your capabilities.
Often, the only way to break this pattern is to get some space. Whether it is allowing yourself to move on to another task for a period or actually taking a day off, giving your brain a chance to escape the pattern can enable you to approach the issue later with a fresh perspective.
You Feel Underappreciated
At times, being overworked mentally manifests itself as feeling underappreciated. While you might not be fully aware of the gravity of your workload, you can’t escape the feeling that others aren’t offering enough recognition for what you are doing, a sensation that can increase stress. In time, this can spiral into self-pity and may even lead to burnout.
You can counter these thoughts by assuming an attitude of gratitude and focusing on the good in each day. However, if that isn’t effective and your current situation of being overworked isn’t likely to improve, you may only have a few options. First, you can speak with your boss to see if any of the pressure can be removed, allowing you to reset and recharge by taking on a more manageable workload. If that isn’t a possibility, it may be time to move on by finding a job where your duties are more reasonable.
Ready for a new opportunity?
If you would like to learn more or are interested in finding a new employment opportunity, the team at PrideStaff can help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our workplace and hiring expertise can benefit you.