Are You Working Too Hard?

Are You Working Too Hard?


Are you working too hard?

It’s a good question.

How do you really know when you are working too hard?

This problem has come up for me a few times over the years. To be honest, I found it difficult to become aware of when I was working too hard. For me, often I was too far into my work to realise that I was ‘burning the candle at both ends’ and was ‘burning myself out’!

So, what are the symptoms of working too hard?

In my case, I experienced lack of sleep, higher levels of stress and being more susceptible to ‘man flu’!

Below are other typical symptoms of working too hard, where you could be heading towards burn-out:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Lack of focus on tasks
  • Poor quality sleep
  • Stress
  • Arguments
  • Making mistakes
  • Forgetfulness

Although these symptoms may seem minor, these can develop into more serious conditions such as very high stress, overwhelm, anxiety, physical & mental exhaustion and even depression.

What can you do to prevent burn-out?

One way is to check-in with yourself every day: Ask yourself “How am I?” – if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, you may be heading towards burn-out.

If this is the case, here is a 4-step strategy you can use to help:

1. Slow down – the chances are you are rushing around. Start by breathing slowly and deeply. The benefit of deep breathing should never be underestimated. Can you slow things down further by giving yourself more time to complete the tasks you are working on?

2. Use the 4 D’s of effective Time Management – you may have too many tasks. If you have, then it’s time to review the tasks you have and make a decision on what to do with each of them. The 4 D’s of effective Time Management will help you to evaluate the importance and urgency of each task and decide what to do. For each task decide to do one of the following:

  • DO IT – if it’s important and urgent - then do it.
  • DELETE IT – if it’s not important or urgent then consider declining or cancelling the task.
  • DEFER IT – if it’s important but not urgent, consider deferring the task to a later date.
  • DELEGATE IT – if you are still left with too many tasks, consider delegating the task to another team member, or ask your manager for assistance.

The decision on some of the tasks may need to be made by someone else in the business - if this is the case, ask them for assistance.

For more information on the 4 D’s CLICK HERE to read the Forbes article.

3. Focus – try to avoid multi-tasking - you may like to multi-task, but your brain doesn’t. We’ve all tried it: texting while walking, sending emails during meetings, jumping from one task to another. Today, doing just one thing at a time is often seen as slow. However, studies estimate that switching between tasks can cause a 40% loss in productivity. Multi-tasking can also cause you to introduce errors into whatever you’re working on, especially if one or more of your activities involves a lot of critical thinking. So, avoid multi-tasking and be more productive by doing (and finishing) one thing at a time!

4. Look after yourself – Do something to look after your mental and physical health. Below are some options for you to consider:

  • MEDITATION – meditating daily can significantly improve your well-being. Search for free guided meditations on YouTube or join a Yoga class.
  • DRINK WATER – many people still don’t drink enough water. You may be de-hydrated. Being de-hydrated has a negative effect on your well-being. “In 2010, a report from The European Food Safety Authority suggested that the minimum levels of water consumption should be 2 litres for men and 1.6 litres for women, or between eight and ten glasses. For men, their daily requirement of two litres of water is equivalent to just over three and a half pints. For women, their recommended intake of 1.6 litres of water is the equivalent of just under three pints.” – CLICK HERE for the original article from the Independent.
  • RESEARCH WELL-BEING STRATEGIES - Try searching on-line for ways you can improve your well-being. To start with you could download my free eBook “6 Steps to a Healthier, Happier Life”, which provides some additional strategies on improving your well-being. CLICK HERE to download it.
  • GET HELP – if you are still struggling then it may be time to seek help. Perhaps from your manager, friends, family or a professional such as a GP.

Working on a lower number of tasks can achieve more because the focus on each task is sharper and the output from this typically produces higher quality results. Combining this with checking in with yourself regularly and looking after yourself helps improve your performance with the business.

If you’re struggling with stress and you’d like help, CLICK HERE to learn more about my Stress Management Coaching Programme.

Ultimately working effectively, getting results and being healthy is a balance. It’s being aware of this that’s the key.

I hope you found this helpful. If you did, please like, comment and share.

Best Wishes,

Kev

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“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create”

TESTIMONIALS FROM SOME OF MY MOST RECENT CLIENTS

I started my career coaching journey with Kev 12 months ago. I can say with all honesty that it's been life changing! He's given me the space and guidance I needed to look at my own thoughts and actions and it's lead to me being able to manage my anxiety and find drive and ambition I didn't know existed! I'd recommend coaching with Kev to anyone!
Nia Baker
Manager, UK
The reason I decided to look for a coach was to become unstuck in my career, within one session I gained the confidence to apply for a new job and got it! I needed clarity on what I wanted in my working life which inevitably with Kev’s coaching style bumped into other areas of my life that needed fine tuning. I seemed to have a gap between the real me and the outdated story I was telling myself. With Kev’s help I was able to realise I didn’t need to be more, less, better or worse, that I was resourceful already, can use my intuition to good effect and that it was OK being me. Kev’s relaxed style made it easy for me to move forward and I left each session feeling positive. I would thoroughly recommend giving Coaching a go with Kev.
J.A. North Wales
,
I found Kevin an incredibly talented as a coach. From the first session I had with him, I could tell the deep knowledge and passion he has toward helping his clients. His uplifting skills and positive energy helped me to open up in many aspects of my life and business path. I enjoyed his new approach that he used in every coaching session. You will be thinking that he is done with you, then he'll surprise you about a challenge that will stretch your brain in many ways. Kevin is a coach by nature, and by many other natural traits that he demonstrates during his sessions. I would highly recommend Kevin as both a career and personal coach. In fact his broad experience in both life and business is what makes him a wonderful coach and a human being to work with.
Sairan Aqrawi
Engineer, U.S.
I was a bit sceptical when I started Business Coaching. But now I am so pleased I did! Kev managed to bring out the business skills I had forgotten I had and gave me the confidence to tackle some issues I knew I had to address but had put off. Our conversations allow me to bounce off ideas that I couldn’t digest during the normal working day and gave me food for thought. After each session I felt refreshed and ready to take on whatever was thrown at me. He has a knack of asking questions that he knows you have the answers to if you dig deep enough and encourages you to find them and to believe in yourself.
Karen Anfield
Director, 3X Software Ltd
I hired Kevin as my Business Coach while I was starting my new business and also going through a divorce. Kevin's compassionate nature and solution-focused approach helped me move forward with my business while experiencing a great deal of personal transition. Kevin allowed me to discover clarity and focus while providing me with excellent accountability through our coaching together.
Carla Kerner
Business Owner, Seattle, U.S.
Kevin was fully committed to me as his client, this projected an extraordinary positive energy in the sessions which created a trustful and empowering environment to enable me to find my path for my goals. During my journey of coaching with Kevin I was in one of those “life crash moments”, he helped me to understand who I am and what I want, which has been an extraordinary remedy to bring me peace and happiness. Thank you, Kevin!
Isabel Rodriguez
Manager, Luxembourg
During my sessions with Kevin, he was able to coach me to a much sharper focus on my issues. In a very short time I gained a deeper insight, new learning and a clear way forward. The sessions were delightfully surprising, effective and professionally delivered.
Jennifer Challenger
Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operations Officer, eg+ worldwide
Over the last 6 months Kevin has worked with me as my Executive Coach, during this time he has coached me through a number of key areas. As a coach, he is very calm, knowledgeable and most importantly insightful, he has a great ability to ask the right question or use the right intervention just at the right moment. Working with Kevin has been a very reinforcing and positive experience, where he has afforded me the time and space to allow me to work through the areas I brought to each session in a creative and supportive manner. Kevin is a very natural Coach and I would highly recommend him.
Alan Cheung
Group SHE Operations and Behavioural Management Director, Costain Group plc
Being coached by Kev has given me the opportunity to unashamedly think just about myself and the future and to get clarity about my own business development without feeling time-pressured. It’s lonely at the top: I don’t have anyone to talk to about decisions affecting my businesses. No-one should be an island. I was an island before Kev. Coaching is unlocking my blocks. Having the experience of someone else who is in business and speaking through solutions has been very beneficial to me. Coming up with a list of achievable goals to deliver and knowing you need to deliver them is what I wanted out of the coach - and is what I am getting.
Shelly Barratt
Founder and Director, Coya Marketing