Hard work and success go hand-in-hand. But being successful doesn't mean you have to work yourself into an early grave. Even if you absolutely love your job, you might feel overwhelmed or burnt out. Fortunately, there are ways to stop overworking yourself and still remain successful.
1. Take a Lunch Break Every Day
If you have a busy, hectic schedule, you might work nine hours or 10 hours a day and skip your lunch breaks. However, if you don't take breaks throughout the day to re-charge your mind, it can feel like you're going in circles. You might earn a nice salary, but physically you might be beyond exhausted.
2. Only Work Eight or Nine Hours
Understandably, this might be difficult in some occupations. But if you took a position under the promise that you would only work a 40-hour week, yet you're working nine, 10 or 12 hours a day, have a talk with your boss. Let your boss know you're overwhelmed and need to cut back. In all likelihood, your boss might be oblivious to the fact that you're working around-the-clock.
3. Don't Bring Work Home
And if you can convince your boss to let you work only eight or nine hours a day, fight the urge to bring work home. You might be physically out of the office, but your mind's still in work mode. This can disrupt your evening and night. So when you leave the office in the late afternoon, you should also leave your assignments and the day's problems.
4. Work Smarter, Not Harder
You might feel overworked if you're handling a variety of different tasks and you're unable to fit everything into a single workday. They're only 24 hours in a day, and you only have so much energy. Therefore, get help and delegate some of your assignments. This way, everything gets done on schedule without you feeling overworked.
5. Start Your Own Business
If you feel overworked working for someone else, maybe you can take your skills and experience and start your own business. From my experience, business owners can typically work fewer hours and earn the same amount of money or more – depending on the job. For example, if you're a staff writer at a local newspaper, you might earn $15 an hour. But as a freelance writer, you can earn anywhere between $25 and $50 an hour (or more).
6. Re-define Success
You may think success is based on a large bank account, a big house and fancy cars. However, true success is loving what you do -- even if it doesn't pay the most glamourous salary. If you adjust your mindset, you might feel less pressure to acquire material possessions. The less you have to maintain, the less money you need to survive. As a result, you might be able to work less.
7. Learn How to Say 'no'
You don't have to say yes and accept every assignment to be successful. You have limitations, and it's possible to get ahead without piling work on yourself. If you have room in your schedule for a new project – great. But if not, let your boss know you'll be happy to work on a project once you complete other assignments on your schedule.
No good comes from overworking. You'll feel more tired, stress, and you might have less time for your family. If you can learn to strike a happy work-life balance and adjust your thinking, you can stop overworking and still remain successful.
What are other tips to work less and still get ahead?