In todays society i feel like overworking is something that is very glamourized, and something you should want to achieve…. to get up a 4am and start working at 5am and then finish working by 10pm and in those hours you have both worked out, been successful in your work area as well as balancing all of the other hurdels of life.
Of course, i believe in working hard towards your goals. I would classify myself as a hardworker and at times, over achiever…. i don’t always see how much i do or achieve because i just see the things i did wrong or didn’t do. It is easy for me to get up at 6am and work/study until 10pm with a pause somewhere to workout. In the long term, this is not balanced or maintainable.
I am in a period of my life where i have lot going on at once with school and other goals i want to achieve. It is stressful trying to balance it all and find time for everything, especially when the daylight doesn’t last long in Sweden during the winter months. However, i also love what i am doing so it is not as stressful as when tasks are forced upon me such as in highschool when i had assignments in all classes and had assignments i wasn’t even intrested in.
Being a hardworker and over achiever is good as it makes you work towards your goals, however the risk is that you never take breaks and you burn out. Or you get stuck in a comparison trap where you compare yourself and your life or your achievements with others. Or maybe you just lose all contact with friends and family because you isolate yourself to work and none of those are something you want to strive for.
I have over worked myself in the past and with a combination of other factors was a cause of my depression, and i can say…. it took a long time to get out of that struggle and too much stress and overworking can be a catalyst to negative thinking and a decline of mental health.
Working hard is important, but so is taking breaks. It is important you get your work done and that you do work towards your goals, but sometimes you need to slow down in some areas of your life… slow down the pace. Sometimes you need to take longer breaks and just settle for “ok” instead of perfect.
Sacrificing your mental health or your friends or family just for work isn’t worth it. In todays society, especially in Sweden there are more and more people have to take breaks from work and school becuase they have “hit the wall” i.e burnt out. For some it takes years to recover and some never fully recover to be able to work 100% again. All of this because there is a pressure to always perform and work hard.
My best tips…
Remember to take breaks.
Get out into nature and get off your phone or computer for a while.
Spend time with friends and family.
Either work from early to afternoon or midday to evening – but not from early to evening…. you need pauses.
Also remember, quality over quantity. I mean, if you can get all your work done in 6 hours instead of 8 isn’t that better? Then you have more time for other things.
Make sure to try to workout and eat healthy everyday – it is easy to forget to eat or just eat junk food when you are caught up in work mode. But eating healthy and exercising can make a huge difference to your mental and physical health.
Find your form of stress reducation and coping with stress. Example yoga, meditation, going for walks, listening to music or podcasts, cooking, watching series, taking a long bath, reading etc …. find what helps you relax and destress.
Each evening end your day by thinking about what you have achieved and are proud of over the day. And DON’T worry about the next day. If you have to, write down your goals, plans etc on a piece of paper and then let it go until the next day. Think of other things.
Don’t forget to treat yourself when you reach goals and be proud over yourself and the work you have done. Don’t just focus on the next goal, instead take some time to just be proud over what you are have accomplished.
If you have a very intense and stressful period in your life, priortize and set deadlines/time limit. Example if you are balancing different work projects at once, priortize which is the most important and then know that within X weeks one project will be done and within Y weeks the next will be done. It can make it easier to cope when you know that it won’t be so stressful forever.
Most of all, try to find balance and make sure to get enough sleep each day. DON’T skip out on sleep!!!
As mentioned earlier, i have alot going on at once and there is lots of work to do, but i also love it so it’s not so bad. But i am making sure to try to stay happy and balanced and not let inner stress affect me or build up because i know in the long term that can be detrimental.
Working hard is important but overworking is not something to strive for!!!