If you’re giving everything to work and don’t have energy or time left to play and relax, I wrote this for you!
When your work to do list is overfull, there seems to be only one solution – to keep working through the pile. But what I’ve found is that the pile never shrinks…am I right?
- How many hours are you PAID to work each week?
- How many hours do you actually work each week?
- How many hours are you overworking each week?
- How does this impact your love life? Your social life? Your health?
When you overwork, it takes time and energy away from other things you want to do for yourself or with family or friends. Remember, you are replaceable in your work, no matter how overfull your task list is. But you’re not as easily replaceable with your family and friends.
I used to overwork to my breaking point. I was sick often and have 2 specific moments in my life that told me to stop running myself into the ground before I listened. Now I call myself a balanced high performer and I work with other high performers to help them create a life they love outside of work.
5 Tips to STOP Overworking
Reminder: you are here for MORE than your work.
1. Create a work schedule and stick to it.
I talk about this all the time because working in your personal time means thinking about work while getting ready in the morning, working through your lunch, staying late to finish things up, answering emails and texts on the weekends, working DURING your vacation and more.
This is all work and I want you to ONLY do it during work hours. If you have a thought about work outside of work hours, jot it down on a notepad or put a note in your phone so you can handle it during work hours.
Also, turn off work notifications on your phone so you can enjoy your time away from work to recharge.
Only work during your paid work hours. This is not only good for you but your work as well. Overworking leads to exhaustion, overwhelm and burnout. It stops the best high performers in their tracks. I have a client right now that wants me to hold her accountable to having a leisurely morning to ground her energy before she thinks about work. Normally she thinks about work as she gets ready and it messes up her day. Stop this by working only during your work hours – nothing more.
2. Stop letting your to do list grow.
Having people you work with constantly add to your work list means, you’re overworking. I just spoke with a man in the Navy who overworks because his to do list is never ending and it affects other people’s careers. The problem – you’re human and this is not sustainable.
Who else can take these tasks? Is there someone you can delegate to or an assistant who can take more things off your plate. And if it’s something only you can do, what other tasks can you hand off to someone else that anyone can do?
I’ve helped so many clients with this. By having a huge to do list that grows significantly everyday it helps you feel worthy and enough at work at first. You get things done, you prove yourself, people give you more, it’s a vicious cycle that will burn out every high performer.
Assess your workload.
Who at your work isn’t getting the work load you are? Why is that?
Is everyone equally slammed with work or are there people doing less than others? In all my experience working in Corporate, at Spas, being self-employed and working with other high performers – not everyone is working the same. Not everyone cares. Those that work hard and care seem to get more – until they can’t handle it.
You don’t get paid for doing more.
You just get more to do than anyone else or to do more than your job description.
I had a client that struggled with this and she started saying no, and if I take this on – I can’t do this task you gave me. She also stopped working on the weekends and less hours. Guess what? She just accepted a VP role in her company. By saying no and drawing boundaries with her to do list, she’s been getting raises and promotions without even trying. She really can’t believe how much easier it all is.
Stop letting your to do list grow. It causes your more stress and anxiety. There is no award for overworking your co-workers. Or if you’re an entrepreneur, you really do have to pace yourself so you make it through your career.
3. Make self-care a part of your day.
Self-care means anything that allows you to recharge your body and mind. It is doing something that GIVES you back the energy you spent at work. If you think about your energy like your cell phone battery, when you run out of energy – there is no back up battery. You start borrowing energy from the next day and so on.
Think of lunch hour or half an hour as a time for you to fuel your body and reflect on your day. By skipping lunch, you make yourself eat junk that’s laying around and you hit a wall at 3 pm. Plus you keep plugging along when your energy and brainpower won’t be as efficient. Instead, by making self care a part of your day – like taking a lunch every day, this gives you time to fuel your body so you’re not hangry, it allows you to reflect on your morning and assess if you need to tweak your afternoon.
Self-care also looks like getting enough sleep at night and exercising your body. This allows you to show up at work as your best self. Having fun scheduled in with family and friends is also a fun way to boost your energy.
4. Know Your WHY.
Why do you overwork? What are you proving? What does your Success Wound™ drive you to prove: I am worthy? I am enough? I am love? Do you still need to prove anything at this point in your career? Probably not.
I used to overwork to prove my worth and when I did that, all I did was get more work. You can’t constantly prove yourself. It doesn’t work and people typically take advantage of that.
Instead, ask yourself why do I want to take on this task. Does it make sense with my job? My role? My salary? And if you do take it on, what do you take off your plate. Don’t add more to your to do list without handing something back over.
5. Start doing hobbies that bring you joy.
I know, it sounds counter intuitive, but if you just stop working, most high performers have no idea what to do. I watch my retired mother and father-in-law just keep finding work tasks around the house. They can’t sit, be, take time to be present…they work ALL the time. And remember, I said they’re retired.
Part of WHY you work is to bring in money to give you a certain level of a life-style. You want time AND financial freedom. You’re not going to have or feel that if you’re working all the time.
What to do when you’re not working?
Start doing hobbies that bring you joy. Some of my clients have taken up golfing, flower arranging, swimming, Pilates, running, dancing, playing the piano, riding their ebike, playing the guitar, lifting weights, cooking and more.
Find whatever it is for you that gives you a reason to not check your email Saturday morning. You’ll like how this hobby makes you feel. By taking up a hobby, when you think…I should respond to these messages, instead you’ll say, I have class at 9, I’m going to have breakfast and go.
Find things outside of work that bring you joy. You are here for more than your work. You created this lifestyle but you’re not fully living it. Enjoy it!