by Maggie Heath
In order to be productive, we’ve got to be on our A-game. Sure, we can tell when we’re hungry or when we’re tired, but sometimes it can be hard to detect when we’ve worn ourselves too thin. If you’ve been feeling more stressed lately, or you’ve noticed your productivity going down, check out these eight signs that you’re overworked. If they sound familiar to you, go home and get some rest!
1. You’re easily frustrated.
Things that may not have bothered you a few hours ago are now frustrating you to no end. The copier is jammed. Your coffee is cold. These little things that are usually no big deal are now adding up and putting you in a really bad mood. This is a sign that you’ve reached your wit’s end and need to take a break. Try to take some deep breaths to avoid getting more frustrated.
2. You have trouble remembering things.
Where did you put your stapler? Or that business report? What’s 10 times five, again? When even the simplest things become hard to recall, it might be a sign that you should stop working and step back. When there’s too much on your mind all at once, it can be hard to remember the littlest details.
3. You’re snapping at others.
Becoming short or easily irritated with other people can also signify that you’re overworked. If you were unintentionally rude to people for (seemingly) no reason, try to step back and recognize that it probably wasn’t them — it was you! And remember, apologize to whoever you snapped at.
4. Your workspace is becoming more and more cluttered.
Einstein himself is credited with insinuating that an empty desk signified an empty mind. However, there’s a fine line between organized chaos and downright dirty. If you’re harboring empty coffee cups, useless scraps of paper, food wrappers, or other trash-like items, it could be a sign that you’re being overworked. Make sure you take a break, but first things first: clean your workspace!
5. You’re daydreaming more than usual.
When we’re overworked, sometimes our minds compensate by taking us out of the situation more and more often. If you’re daydreaming or drifting off at work, it could be a sign that your mind is protecting you from the stress of working so much.
6. You aren’t happy at work (but you used to be).
It’s one thing to be unhappy at work when you never liked your job to begin with. But it’s quite another thing to start to hate a job you once loved. While this could be a sign that you’re just not meant to be in this profession, it’s much more likely that you’re simply overworked and in need of some space between you and your job.
7. You’re getting sick more frequently.
Stress can make the body more susceptible to things like the common cold and the flu, both of which are pretty common in office settings to begin with. If you’re usually pretty healthy, a sudden turn for the worse can indicate that your immune system just can’t keep up with how much you work. Make sure you get things checked out by a doctor to make sure it’s not something worse. However, chances are you’re just working too hard. Do yourself (and your coworkers) a favor and take a sick day.
8. You’re taking your work problems home.
While it can sometimes be hard to separate work from your personal life, it’s never a good thing to come home still stressed about whatever happened at work today. If you’re having a hard time differentiating between your home life and your professional life, try to step back and assess the real reason you’re having these problems.