In the rat race that is Corporate America, hard work is simply a fact of life, especially for leadership. Your days are long. You take work home. Weekends and vacations are scheduled in between client calls and deadlines. While this lifestyle may be what helps you to get to the top and stay there, it begins to take a toll on your health, your relationships and your overall drive to succeed. So how do you decide when it’s time to slow down at work? Here are a few key signs that should clue you in.
1. Changes in your sleep cycle
Feel overwhelmingly exhausted, yet can’t shut your brain down to go to sleep at night? Or, do you come home from work and barely make it through dinner before collapsing into bed? Sudden changes to your sleep cycle could be a signal that you are burning out and need to lighten your workload.
2. Increasing frustration with small annoyances
Many times, when you are stressed out and overworking yourself, the tiniest of infractions can set you into a tailspin. If your favorite tie clip goes missing and you have a nuclear meltdown, you might want to consider a slow down at work.
3. Weight fluctuation
Working through meals can cause weight loss, while eating junk food that’s readily available can cause weight gain. Either way, both are signs of a problem. Step back and reevaluate your priorities before you find yourself in a serious health crisis.
4. Loss of overall motivation
When you’ve spent months and years working hard and at the top of your game, the exhaustion that sets in will take the wind out of your sails in no time at all. It can be difficult to find the energy to get yourself up in the morning or to make it through the tasks on your list once you arrive at work. Nothing but a true break to reboot and refresh will get you going again.
5. Silly mistakes in simple tasks
Attention to detail is one of the first things to go when you’re on your way to burnout. If you notice that you’re overlooking obvious things or making errors that have no real excuse, schedule some downtime immediately to prevent larger mistakes that could bring real consequences.
6. Losing joy in your personal time
When you are overworked and feeling stressed, it’s hard to leave that at the office. Often, the same feelings of frustration and lack of motivation bleed over into your personal life. Take some time for yourself to truly get out and enjoy your favorite things and make the most of your nonworking hours.
7. Your relationships outside the office are all on the back burner
Your significant other is feeling neglected. Your kids are wondering if you’ve moved out. Friends? They forgot what you look like. By allowing your work to become your whole life, your personal relationships, which should be your top priority, have taken a backseat. Correct this issue before serious damage occurs.
While making sure that your job is done properly is important, what is the point if the rest of your life is miserable? In that case, it’s time to slow down at work. Ensure that you are setting the right boundaries at the office to avoid burnout in order to be happier and healthier overall.