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Think you’re overworked? Here are 4 ways to set clear boundaries

Published on:5 July 2021, 18:21pm IST
Overworking won’t just affect the quality of your work but can have tangible effects on your mental and physical health. Here are 4 ways to draw healthy boundaries at work when it comes to your professional life.
Grace Bains
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If you've been feeling overworked, you need to set some healthy boundaries. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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The modern-day hustle culture has made us believe that if we’re not overworking ourselves, we might not be in the race to becoming successful professionals. Somehow, overworking is seen to be synonymous with quality work. Hence, so many of us enthusiastically sit for long hours, surpass daily targets and don’t even mind losing sleep if it means improved chances at professional success.

The truth, however, is that our body needs rest. If we’re overworking, it will lead to physical and mental health troubles. Over time, being overworked will start to affect the quality of work and actually put us a couple of steps behind in terms of reaching our goals. Hence, it is important to keep some boundaries in mind to strike the perfect balance between the personal and professional world.

Overworking can affect both mental and physical health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If you have been feeling overworked, set these 4 boundaries:

1. Take time off each day

Taking daily time off is really important to create a boundary between personal and professional space. The time allocation for unwinding is not the real concern, but the activities that you undertake on a daily basis and their recurrence is what will help you reduce your stress levels and avoid burning out because of overworking. Be it exercising, doing yoga, listening to music or reading a book, indulge in giving time off to yourself every day.

2. Be willing to say ‘no’

Saying ‘yes’ to every assignment or meeting coming your way is a major contributor to work-related stress. There is a constant need to push oneself to deliver at work, driven by fear of being categorised as a non-serious worker, having a questionable work ethic. While it is important to give your best at work, saying a ‘no’ from time to time is critical to maintaining professional boundaries and managing the expectations of the employer. This will also help you in strategizing your workday more efficiently and delivering quality work. You would most likely be dabbling with achievable targets once you start saying no to work that is overburdening your ‘to do’ items or clashing with personal events.

You can reduce stress by saying ‘no’ to work when you feel overworked. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Have health goals

We more often than not ignore our health due to stress, anxiety, long hours and pressure related to work. The lethargy and fatigue are bound to set in, as you spend long hours tackling deadlines and paperwork. Consider setting health goals for yourself, that will help you take charge of your wellbeing and create boundaries, to avoid overworking. Include meditation in your daily routine, add vegetables and protein-rich foods to your diet, and sleep for longer durations to boost your health. Make it a point to have a designated lunch hour, even on a hectic day. Ensure that you’re sleeping for 8 hours to let your body and mind recuperate. These small health goals will actually improve your overall health quite considerably.

4. Acknowledge that being busy or overworked doesn’t necessarily mean a good work ethic

There is a certain degree of romanticization of being busy or overworked at all times. The ‘hustle’ culture has taken over the collective imagination of the workforce, wherein if you are not working till late or partaking in a lot of work, then your work ethic is wrongfully considered weak. This culture promotes an unhealthy attraction towards ‘killing oneself’ at work, as it may be rewarded in the form of monetary benefits and career progression. A fulfilled life is one where you are healthy and have the time to enjoy the company of your loved ones. Try flipping the tables from living-to-work to working-to-live, and avoid overworking.

Ladies, setting these 4 keys boundaries in your professional life will ensure you’re mentally and physically healthy to take on any challenge!

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.