Understanding When You “Over” Work

To be honest, I think that we all to a degree overwork ourselves in the sense that we focus too much on work, school, or something else that may be our livelihood, and then we lose focus or mental clarity, and then worst of them all produce bad quality work. I’m the first to vouch that the pandemic made me turn to work as an escape, and I thought I overworked before the pandemic, but unfortunately the pandemic made it get worse. I counted during the pandemic eight different jobs & side hustles I picked up and was working at the same time, and yes, the money and experience was great…but was it sustainable for my mental and physical health? NO! 

I wanted to write this article to just let you know that it is totally okay to take mental health breaks to figure things out. Although, the biggest eye-opener for me is to really evaluate what tasks you do in your life and ask yourself if the stress is oftentimes worth it. For example, I try to live a very stress-free life and identify triggers of stress, so maybe I should back off or put less time into something if it means it will pile on more stress. 

Every few months, I like to make a list of everything I actively have going on, and really sit down to evaluate it. If the activity gives me joy such as my full-time job – then great. I started going to church, and that has been a great portion of my time, so that stays. Although, maybe I see that the one side gig takes up so much time, but doesn’t produce me any money – then that should go or I need to better monitor my time spent doing it. 

I just have a big goal of not burning out, and I hope you feel the same for yourself. It can feel at young ages that we need to excel at everything and be all-stars at life, but please don’t beat yourself up or work 24/7 if it means you’re sacrificing your free time, mental and physical health, or impacting relationships. Please find a balance, and figure out what combination of time and activities produce you the most balance, happiness, and success.

Do you think you put too much pressure on yourself to work and be busy? Have you ever needed to cut or quit any clubs, classes, or jobs because of their impact on your physical or mental health?

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