The Huffington Post ran an article last week titled “Five Signs You’re Working Too Hard.” For me, only the first three signs resonated. The last two were about books and movies, and I just realized that at my old job, I didn’t have time for books and movies! So perhaps they actually did resonate.
But as for the first three, here are the signs I noticed:
1. Strangers weren’t telling I looked rushed, but my friends told me I looked way too thin. And it was because I was skipping lunches. I never, ever took a lunch break. I had meetings or conference calls, or because simply had too much to do. I would even think “Today, I’ll just grab something quick, so that I can get things done and leave at a reasonable hour tonight.” That never happened.
2. Oh, the muscle pain. It was inexplicable. I’m not an athlete. I was barely working out. But the pain at the base of my neck, above my shoulder blade, was not going away.
3. And lastly, I knew when I canceled my subscription to Lucky, things were not going well. I hadn’t read the last five issues, and I couldn’t envision a time that I’d ever catch up. I love Lucky magazine. I had no time to read it or any magazine for that matter. It was even part of my job to read magazines, and I could just never find the time, energy or focus.
The HP writer doesn’t go into any solutions. So I am telling you, find a solution! My solution was to quit. I needed to step away and realize what I loved about my job and what I wanted to find in a new job. I was to the point where I would have taken any job to just escape the confines of my office. My career is so important to me, that I simply could not just take a hasty step into something else without carefully weighing options. But I didn’t have any time to job search, apply and really examine where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. I was stuck… with a stack of magazines and a pain in my neck that wouldn’t go away.
I don’t recommend quitting to everyone. But I had reached a point where unemployment seemed to be less stressful than working at my job. And I don’t regret my decision for a second.
Someday I’ll share my new opportunities and updates with everyone. The point of me posting this today was to say “Recognize when you are working too hard, and if you are, find a way to change it.” Set boundaries, set aside time for yourself, give yourself things to look forward to. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are telling your boss “I have to walk out of the door, or I’m going to throw myself out of the window.”
This month’s Lucky was fantastic, by the way.