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We all have dreams, goals, and professional aspirations. It’s normal to want to advance our careers and get ahead. But sometimes the more ambitious we are, the more we neglect other important aspects of our lives.

It’s one thing to put off scheduling a spa appointment because you’re too busy at the office. It’s quite another to put your health, relationships, and personal happiness on the back-burner.

If your mental and physical health is suffering, it’s essential that you make a change. So how do you know if you’re working too hard? Read on to learn about if you’re overworking yourself and what you can do to fix it.

Problem #1: You Have No Time

Does your typical day involve rolling out of bed, going to the office, and coming home, just to do it all over again the next day? You know you’re working too hard when work is the only thing you have time for.

The Solution: Take a Good Look at Your Schedule

Analyze your day to figure out how you’re structuring your time. Do you spend a lot of time on a few specific things?

Is there a better way you can plan your day? Is there someone else in the office that can pitch in and help you?

Practice saying “no” more often. Turn down meeting requests and projects that aren’t essential.

Creating a strong to-do list can help you better structure your day. With a better to-do list, you should be able to restore the balance back to your life.

If you find that balance, you’ll have more time to do the things you enjoy.

Problem #2: You Can’t Stop Thinking About Work

When you’re completely wrapped up in your career, it can be hard to disconnect, even in your off hours. Many people find it difficult to unplug when they leave the office.

But when all you think about are meetings and deadlines, it becomes impossible to focus on anything else. Your health, happiness, and relationships are bound to suffer.

The Solution: Turn off Your Notifications

Turn off your email notifications when you leave the office. Resist the urge to check your email before you go to bed.

Don’t respond to messages at crazy hours of the night – unless it’s an absolute emergency. The constant chirping of notifications can cause lots of anxiety. If you can ignore them in the off hours, you might be able to finally relax.

Problem #3: All You Can Talk About Is Work

Do your friends roll their eyes every time you open your mouth to vent about your boss? Does your spouse nod their head when you mention that annoying coworker who’s not pulling their weight?

Everyone experiences stress, but if your career is consuming your life, you’ve got an issue. 

The Solution: Check Yourself

Before you launch into a conversation about how terrible your day was, ask yourself one question. Is this really how you want to spend precious moments with family and friends?

The truth is, complaining might be doing you more harm than good.

Do you talk about the problem over and over again but do nothing to fix it? Even your closest friends will find that annoying. Your loved ones want to help you with problems, but if you don’t make any changes they’re likely to lose interest. They may even tune you out altogether.

The next time you feel the need to vent, change the course of the conversation. Ask your friends how their day was instead. Sometimes, hearing about other people’s lives can make you forget your own.

Problem #4: You’re Forgetting Things

Forgetfulness is a result of feeling too much stress and pressure. If your career is consuming your life, you’re likely to forget little things throughout the day.

Can’t find your car keys? Don’t remember what time that big meeting is starting? Forgetting details will only cause more problems and make you more stressed.

The Solution: Write Everything Down

Make daily to-do lists your new way to conquer your workload. Buy a planner if you like writing things down, or download a productivity app on your phone.

Set reminders for meetings and events on your phone. Do whatever it takes so that you remember what’s important.

Even if you don’t think you have trouble remembering things if you’re stressed you’re bound to forget something.

Problem #5: You’re Neglecting Your Loved Ones

Not spending any quality time with your friends, children, family, or spouse? This is a surefire way to know that you’re working too hard.

If all you want to do when you get home from the office is curl up on the couch and watch TV, you’re missing out on quality time with the people that matter. When your friends or spouse tell you that you’re neglecting them, listen up. It’s likely they’ll notice before you do.

The Solution: Make Time for Friends and Family

In some cases, this is easier said than done, but it’s crucial to maintain healthy relationships. Plan a happy hour or a coffee date with friends. Go to a movie or plan a dinner date with your significant other.

Schedule some time to have brunch with your parents. Make plans and keep them, no matter how tired you are or how stressed out you may be.

Don’t look at this as another chore you have to do. Look at it as a solution to your problem. Spending time with loved ones is a great way to relieve stress and take your mind off office matters.

Start your days earlier so you can get everything done earlier in the day. If you find it impossible to carve out a few hours a week to do these things, it’s time to talk to your boss about your workload.

It’s important to have goals and aspirations, but you can’t work yourself to death. Identify your issues, adjust your schedule, and make time for family and friends.

If you can make time for the things and the people you love, you’ll live a happy, balanced life. When you’re happier at home, you’ll be more productive in the office.

Working smarter, not harder, might help you land that promotion.


Written By
James O’Neil currently works as a property manager at Jefferson Platinum Triangle a new, transit-oriented, 400-unit apartment community located in the heart of the Platinum Triangle District of Anaheim, California.

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