10 Key Indicators Of Overwork: Recognizing The Signs

One reason for the burnout epidemic is that employees are being overworked. Here are ten critical signs to watch for.
10 Critical Signs You Are Being Overworked

It comes as no surprise that burnout and stress levels are currently at an all-time high, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). The 2021 Work and Well-Being Survey conducted by the APA revealed that a staggering 79% of respondents reported experiencing work-related stress in the month prior to the survey. Additionally, a study by the employment website Indeed highlighted the rising trend of burnout. In 2021, over half of respondents admitted to experiencing burnout, marking a significant increase from the 43% reported in Indeed’s pre-pandemic survey. A fundamental contributor to this burnout epidemic is the issue of overworked employees.

How often has a colleague left the company, and you were asked to assume some or all of their responsibilities without an increase in compensation? Alternatively, perhaps you were offered a coveted promotion a year after demonstrating your ability to manage additional responsibilities on top of your existing workload. The pressure to maintain an image of constant productivity at work can be overwhelming, especially when colleagues set a precedent for such a work culture.

Thankfully, there are clear indicators that signal when you are overworked. Recognizing any of these ten warning signs should prompt you to create a self-care plan to guide you back toward a healthier and more sustainable path.

Difficulty disconnecting

Overworked individuals often struggle to switch off, feeling compelled to remain “always on.” Constantly checking emails on laptops and cell phones to avoid falling behind is a clear indicator of overwork.

Taking on multiple roles

When colleagues depart or positions remain unfilled, the burden of multiple roles often falls upon you. Handling the work of two or three people can become exhausting.

Regular overtime

Occasional overtime to complete special projects is understandable. However, when working late into the evenings and on weekends becomes a regular part of your job, it’s a warning sign.

Loss of passion

Overwork can diminish your passion for your job. It’s challenging to find fulfillment and enthusiasm when you are constantly working long hours. If the thought of going to work fills you with dread, it’s likely you’re spending too much time there.

Constant distractions

Overwork can lead to constant distractions, as stress and a never-ending to-do list infiltrate your thoughts. Struggling to maintain focus throughout the day may signify overwork.

Decreased productivity

Paradoxically, overworking can reduce your productivity. Spreading yourself too thin makes it difficult to focus effectively on any given task. It can even spill over into your personal life, making it challenging to meet family commitments and complete personal projects.

Lack of energy for simple tasks

Overwork can overwhelm your mind, making even straightforward tasks seem burdensome. Falling behind on your workload can exacerbate stress and result in physical symptoms.

Deteriorating health

Severe physical symptoms due to overwork demand immediate attention. Some common signs include significant weight changes, insomnia, increased blood pressure, persistent fatigue, and unexplained aches and pains.

Strained personal relationships

If your long work hours are taking a toll on your personal relationships, this is concerning. You might be missing family dinners or not being able to put your kids to bed. These are clear indications that you may be pushing yourself too hard.


When you catch yourself procrastinating by scrolling through social media or online shopping as deadlines approach, it’s often a sign of overwork. While it may offer temporary relief, it ultimately contributes to more stress as you fall further behind on your tasks.

Remember, overwork is not a prerequisite for professional success. By working smarter and establishing healthy boundaries, you can attain the work-life balance you truly deserve.

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