You’re a responsible adult who knows that when you start a job, you have to finish it; but while this is the professional thing to do, you also need to know when to stop because to put it simply, you also need to have a life.
There are some who treat being overworked as a badge of honor—company cultures that believe that going beyond your shift means you’re a hard-worker, and leaving on time means you’re a slacker. Never mind that you actually efficiently use the eight to nine hours you're in the office: there are sadly some misguided managers that may think you’re not working hard enough.
The bottom line is that you should know your limits. Your well-being is more important than your job, and if you’re having a hard time slowing down and you feel that you’re on the verge of a burnout, try these tips:
Don’t let your work tasks decide your personal schedule.
It may not make sense at first since you know you should be working around deadlines, but look at it this way: you’re making your life revolve around work if you focus on your tasks instead of how you can conveniently schedule them with your life as the priority. Choose your family dinner over that 10 a. m. pitch—if you’re really ipit, then give yourself a few hours of sleep when you get home and wake up super early to work on it. The point is to focus on yourself and on your relationships first before anything else. Remember, you can always switch jobs, but you can never bring back the time you didn’t spend prioritizing yourself and those who matter.
Accept that you can’t finish everything in one day.
As much as you a have a task list to follow, realize that there will always be those small, ‘kailangan ngayon’ deliverables that will bump things down. Yes, it’s annoying especially when you’ve already found your rhythm, but you’ll need to forgive yourself for not managing to tick all your boxes for the day. It’s not that you didn’t do any work. You actually did a lot of work. As for the rest, you can prioritize and focus on them the following day.
Don’t be shy about asking people to wait.
For a lot of people, everything is needed ‘now na’ to the point that they may be badgering you non-stop to do things immediately—via email, SMS, calls, direct messaging, and stopping by your cubicle every ten minutes—without even considering that you also have tons of things to do. This can understandably be very stressful on your part, but if you take a step back, you’ll realize which requests need prioritizing and which ones can actually wait. For the latter, don’t be afraid to say that you can only accommodate them after you finish pending tasks.
This isn’t to say that you’ll be a bitch about it. You can explain that it’ll actually be better for them to wait for you to finish more important tasks so that you can give your 100 percent when you finally start working on their requests.
Learn to say no.
Saying no doesn’t mean you’re tamad. It means that you’re not wasting your or anybody else’s time by pretending you can finish a task that you actually can’t. Saying no means you’ve weighed the situation and are managing expectations: not only will it be a way to start a compromise, it’ll also save you from stress you don’t need. As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy.
Look for something to be excited about outside the office.
One reason why you probably think that it’s okay to do overtime work every single day is because you’ve got nothing to look forward to after. Remedy that by getting excited about something new. It may be as simple as treating yourself to a massage or something more long-term as jumping into a new hobby or class. Let this activity be one of the highlights of your day and hype it up in your head; you’ll find that getting into the healthy groove of work-life balance will actually increase your overall efficiency, happiness, and satisfaction.