Bad week? Head fuzzy? Feel like you’ve achieved precisely nothing during those five days in the office? You may be working too hard. But how can you tell if that’s definitely the case?

All jobs demand hard work. Your boss will demand that you work hard. Your spouse and kids, although rarely explicitly stating the fact, require you to work hard in order to ensure there is food on the table. Hard work isn’t a bad thing at all.

You want to achieve great things, but your health and family life shouldn’t suffer. Pay raises and promotions can often cloud what’s important and many people struggle to come to terms with the fact that it is possible to earn too much money.

What follows is 5 telltale signs you’re working too hard. I guarantee at least one will feel very familiar.

1. You’re arguing with the people you love

You can’t put your finger on it, but you simply don’t feel yourself when you arrive home at the end of a long day in the office. You’re grumpy, and it’s those closest to you who bear the brunt of your inexplicable mood.

We all argue with loved ones from time to time, but if it’s happening more frequently, your job could be to blame.

2. You’re dreading calling clients

If you’re continually moving client calls to the bottom of your to-do list, something is wrong. They may even be clients you have previously enjoyed calling, so what gives?

If this is the case, you’re working too hard and have lost the essence of what makes such tasks so important.

3. You can’t see the wood for the trees

You’ve toiled and toiled over an email reply to a client, but the words you’ve written no longer make sense. Perhaps that report you’ve spent the last six weeks writing is starting to resemble a collection of random words and pie charts.

Sound familiar? You’re doing too much. The likelihood is that the work is absolutely fine – it might even be your best, but you’ve spent too long on it. Take a break. Fresh eyes will tell you what you need to do next.

4. You can’t sleep

If you’re normally the heaviest of sleepers but now spend countless hours tossing and turning, mulling over tomorrow’s to-do list, you’re working too hard.

Sleep is essential to our everyday happiness and productivity. Don’t let your career get in the way of it.

5. You’re avoiding colleagues

You used to leave your office door open. On entering the office in the morning, you’d issue a cheerful ‘good morning!’ to everyone and ensure everyone had a nice evening. Now, you scurry into your office, shut the door and keep yourself to yourself for the entire day.

This isn’t you, and you know it. The likely cause of your sudden reclusiveness is – you guessed it – the fact that you’re working too hard.


If you think you’re working too hard, you probably are. If the above list has simply reaffirmed your suspicion, it has done its job. It’s time to kick back, chill out and make some changes.

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