How to Know Whether You Are Being Overworked

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When you are being over worked, it may be due to two reasons – one, you are doing so on account of your excessive affinity towards your job and two, you are forced to work out of compulsion, without your conscious willingness. The symptoms of being overworked will vary depending on these two.

If you overwork because you have fallen in love with your work, here are some symptoms:


 You will ignore your sleep, your food, your family and your health and you would be constantly engrossed in your job. Even if you are not in your office, your mind will continue think about your job at home! Unless someone reminds you or forces you to go home, take food or have a wash, you would rather go ahead with your job on hand. Worse still, you will expect those who work under you too to emulate you; you will consider hard working as the greatest virtue. Even if you sleep, you will go to bed with the thoughts and plans related to your work and when you wake up, you will emerge with the same thoughts.

Your work will not look boring to you. You will get offended if your spouse or someone makes fun of your obsessiveness. You will feel proud of your dedication and sincerity.

Neglecting dear ones

Spending quality time with your spouse or children will never be a matter of importance to you.  If your spouse complains loudly, you will declare that your first love is your job and everything else is secondary. If the family emotionally blackmails you, you too will become emotional to highlight how important your work is to you and you will end up saying that you are toiling day and night just to ensure the happy well being of the family in the long run. You will declare that the family should sacrifice short term pleasures for the sake of your long term success!

Ignoring physical ailments

Your body may resist abuse and over-stretching and it may react; you may get physical fatigue, back ache, neck pain, dizziness, acidity, head ache, cough and cold and so on. But your tendency would be to ignore them or to pop up a pill and keep moving ahead with your work, till your physical ailments lead you to a body breakdown.

Now let us see some symptoms of overworking on account of compulsion:


You will become short tempered. You may shout at your subordinates; you may enter into unnecessary arguments with your colleagues. Your children will feel afraid of coming closer to you when you return home. You will use your spouse and children as “emotional toilets” to vent your frustration at workplace.  Bickering and fighting with the spouse will be routine affairs.  Sexual relationship with the partner will deteriorate.


You will feel too tired most of the times. You would like to get an uninterrupted,  peaceful sleep for at least seven to eight hours at a stretch, but you will find it extremely difficult to fall into sleep; you will be consciously aware of your tossing and turning at the bed right through your sleeping hours.

You will get dreams of obsessive working of a trivial job repeatedly again and again, but neither completing it nor getting it right.


You will be pumping in more and more working hours at less and less efficiency.  You will get dissatisfied with your own output and your inability to do things right the first time. You will find that your concentration is lacking and in order to get it, you will think of diverting your time to something else for a while (chit chatting with your friends, browsing the internet, visiting the canteen, going out for frequent smoking etc). When you return to resume your work, you will find yourself in no way better.

You will always find yourself not having enough time in a day. The more you work, the more you will find your work stretching.


You will be regularly complaining about something to somebody. “It’s a thankless job; the boss takes all the credit for my toil; the boys working under me never take responsibility; I have terrible head ache all through the day;  I hate going home; my wife is a torture…..”

Real and imagined ailments

Head ache, back pain, dizziness, vomiting sensation, indigestion, insomnia, ulcer, fever – you may frequently get these ailments and even if they are not, you will keep complaining about such ailments.

Smoking and drinking

Excessive smoking, indulgence in alcoholic drinks, eating junk food at odd times – these too are some of the symptoms of overworking.

  Whether one works out of obsession for the job or out of fear about job security, being overworked has potential to damage one’s physical and mental health in the long run. Whether work, play, food, sleep or sex, everything in life has to have a degree of moderation and that’s the secret of leading a successful and happy life in this world.


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