By Josh Kohlbach, CEO and founder of Rymera Web Co, the makers of Wholesale Suite, the No. 1 WooCommerce wholesale solution.
Getting kudos from the boss feels good. It’s nice to be appreciated and see your hard work be recognized. But working hard is where you get yourself into trouble. Your efforts to do it all are impacting your health and well-being.
Even high-performing employees struggle when they’re overworked, and they’re 2.2 times more at risk of burnout. Add in the hustle culture and stories from the tech world where entrepreneurs work insane hours, and it’s a recipe for disaster for most people.
As a dedicated employee, however, you want to make an impact in your organization and add value without compromising your health and well-being. Use these tips to help find a better way.
1. Think Before You Say Yes
There’s a fine line between being busy and being overloaded. And if you’re trying to be indispensable to your organization, you might say yes to everything. You don’t want to be seen as not contributing to business objectives, but when you take on more than you can reasonably handle, you’re putting yourself at risk for burnout.
When that next project arrives on your desk or your manager is looking for someone to take on an extra project, think about your motivation for saying yes. Are you a people pleaser who doesn’t want to let people down? Perhaps you’re a control freak who doesn’t trust your colleagues to do an excellent job if they worked on the project. Once you’re clear on your motivation, you might be more willing to say no.
And don’t be afraid of engaging with your manager about the project. Your manager and the higher-ups are there to support you and your colleagues. They should also know when they’re asking too much of you, but sometimes they’re just as caught up in the work. Supportive managers will understand when you push back on that next project.
2. Embrace The Middle Ground
For many people, if you can’t say no, the only other option is yes. The unwillingness to be protective of your time and energies can lead you to take on too much and risk burning out. With the shifting economic landscape, every project counts for most organizations. You don’t want to let anyone down, but overworked, stressed employees lose 550 million workdays annually when they call in sick and cost nearly $500 billion in healthcare costs.
To avoid costing yourself and your organization time and money, you must learn to embrace the middle ground in your work. There are always ways for you to be a team player and contribute to the project without doing it all yourself.
For instance, if your manager asks you to work on a project and you don’t have the bandwidth for it, offer instead to provide support to the person or team working on it. You could offer to handle a lower-priority task on the project that is critical but involves less of your time.
3. Be Firm On Your Work Schedule
Overachievers work long hours and ignore their own well-being for the corporate good. Add in a flexible work schedule or remote working situation, and these employees will work more hours than they should. But working such long hours all the time can lead to higher stress levels and burnout.
To prevent your schedule from bleeding into your off-hours, draw a hard line between working and home hours.
• Set up your schedule so you don’t book meetings or project work after a specific time.
• Prioritize your to-do list so you don’t feel the need to finish it all in one go.
• Take your email and other communication apps off your mobile devices so you’re not tempted to check them during your off-hours.
• If you must keep your apps on your mobile phone, turn off notifications during your downtime so you’re not bothered by them while you’re relaxing.
Your employer and organization benefit when you’re indispensable, but it’s not always good for you. Having an overloaded schedule and working long hours can lead to burnout and other health issues. These three tips will help you manage your workload better while still contributing to the team. You’ll be more relaxed and recharged so you can bring your indispensable self to work every day.
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