There are many small (and major) successes to experience at work every day, whether you're pursuing your passion or congratulating yourself on a job, well done. But if you usually experience tension rather than satisfaction, you may work too much. Working hard is great, but living well is just as significant. Focusing on impact above output is the key to avoiding burnout.
Setting boundaries and telling your management about them will help you deal with any personal feelings of overwork. Long-term burnout can negatively affect your health, resulting in poor sleep or low energy levels and the negative effects of overworking. Good mental health and greater well-being depend on finding a healthy balance between your employment and personal life. Clarity and communication are essential whether you're trying to support overworked team members or manage your own symptoms of burnout.
You can succeed in your career and other areas of your life by striking a healthy balance between working hard and living well. We must adopt a new mentality that values balance, productivity, and efficiency as the gold standard rather than celebrating long hours and "passion" to save our minds and our bodies. We can start by seeking assistance.
In his latest video, SoME Founder & CEO Rakesh Godhwani discusses a practical framework that can help us tackle being overworked.
Future of Work
The future of work is getting more and more interesting, but it doesn’t mean working less. But it’s going to get more complex, a lot more competitive. So all of us should learn to brace ourselves for this world which is highly VUCA where getting good jobs is not going to be that easy.
Many of us will have to struggle with one too many jobs. In fact, about a hundred years ago, a lot of people struggled with two or three jobs in a day just to earn enough to pay their bills, and that day is happening again now because of massive inflation. As a result, jobs are fewer, everything is getting expensive, so we have to work harder. Looking at all of us, who look at work as a very important meaning of our lives, are also dependent on work to pay our bills, and this portion of people is a significant part of the population of the working community.
Work is meaning, worship, and work defines us, and in today’s world, if you have work, if you are busy, it’s a gift. Treat work as part of our identity, it makes us who we are. If you are torn between “I am going to work, and I am going to retire, and I am going to earn enough money so that I never have to work again”, you are mistaken because I think we have come on this planet to make something great and all of us have the capability. So work is that process which brings out our love, our products, our art, and our creativity. Work hard if you have the capacity, have multiple opportunities and jobs that you can do, don’t give up on this, it’s a gift to be able to work.
Feeling Overworked, How to Resolve?
The word work is not very important, the word feeling is very important, and when you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed, you might be exhausted, fatigued, stressed, anxious, or burnt out.
Dependencies, reduce them and Inefficiencies, resolve them
There are two frameworks to understand what’s going wrong. You are putting in a lot of effort, you are burning yourself on that effort. Then you are supposed to produce some results, so there is effort and results. If the efforts are a lot and the results are less, there is a serious problem; you will be overwhelmed, fatigued and demotivated. Most of us are working really hard, your efforts are very high, but the results are very low. What could be the reason behind it? Maybe our work requires a lot of dependencies on others, so you are doing your work, then there are a lot of people working with you and things are beyond your control. That causes a lot of effort to get wasted because you are working harder to communicate with them and collaborate with them. They are inefficiencies in the system, so one big chunk of high effort and not resting in good outcomes is that maybe because there are a lot of dependencies, and we should think about it. There could also be a lot of inefficiencies that are not in your control, or maybe you are not skilled or doing things that you shouldn’t be doing. A lot of people out there who are in this category. They have taken awesome degrees but are still not skilled to do the work of the 21st century, which can be overwhelming. It can burn you out because you don’t know what to do out there, and the big problem is that these soft skills you have learned don’t help when you get into a company or deal with people. So you are putting in a lot of effort, results are not there, and you feel anxiety and stress because of it or if the task is extremely complex, you have taken a big chunk of it and cannot solve it alone. Ask yourself, can you do the job alone or is it too complex? Can you break it down into smaller chunks and then solve the problem? Look at the efforts, if they are dependencies, reduce them, if they are inefficiencies, resolve them, if the task is too complex, break it down to simpler tasks.
List down the tasks
The second framework is a very simple technique of listing down all the tasks that you do in a day, list down everything. Put tasks down according to the urgency and priority of the task. As many of us spend a lot of time in doing things which are not important and urgent. If you solve this problem, you will get a lot of relief in your day-to-day activities. Prioritize and discipline your life.
Lastly, be assertive, learn to say no, and don’t take up too much work. Take a break in between, Pamper yourselves once in a while. Rest and sleep are also very important; do not push the pedal too much; you will get burnt out. So, work meaningfully and learn to balance it out.