Don’t Overwork Yourself in Pursuit of Success

Working hard is important in any career, but overwork can stall it. Exhaustion leads to illness, lower productivity, and burnout. You may think you have to work 80 hours a week, but before you collapse, analyze your load to determine whether you need to cut back:

  • Look at your co-workers. If they’re achieving the same results while logging fewer hours, you probably need to work smarter. Consider stepping off the treadmill long enough to get some mentoring, coaching, or training assistance before you burn out.
  • Listen to how others describe you. If colleagues, supervisors, and direct reports reliably refer to you as “hardworking,” “dedicated,” and/or “committed” before listing attributes such as “visionary” and “innovative,” you might be focusing more on quantity of work than quality.
  • Check your reserves. If you’re working at or near full capacity every day and return home with no energy left, you’re stretching yourself too thin. Not only do you risk sinking under the burden, but you won’t have enough time to take advantage of the next great work challenge that comes your way.


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