I was astounded to read a query in my Q&A box which said - I work from 7:30 a.m to 4:30 pm but am on my toes till 5:30. Please advise. Now, working for nine hours a day is already too much effort by both the mind and the body for one day. Doing this everyday is a surefire burnout trigger. Let us look at possible reasons why someone would work this many hours a day.
-Not having a plan and a Things-To-Do list for the day
-Not prioritising work appropriately
-Lack of coordination with others connected to your tasks
-Inability to complete tasks within a time frame
-Inadequate support from co-workers
-Lack of resources
Only one reason is organization-related, the lack of resources, while the others are related to personal development and interpersonal relations. With this awareness, one can remedy the majority of the causes for overworking.
There is however, a larger and unseen factor that could be at play and something that we all experience at some time of our career, if not all the time – burdening of the load donkey. It may sound harsh, but some of us have the tendency to take on more than we can deliver for these reasons.
-Inability to say no
-Trying hard to please
-To gain popularity
-Afraid of losing the job/position
-Believing that overwork is hard work
Of all the reasons, the last one is the biggest demon that can devastate a career. The immediate fallout is that co-workers and managers will unwittingly or intentionally begin to take advantage of the individual by passing on work and overburdening him/her. In worst case scenario, the individual will simply burnout and quit. Remember, too much is never enough. There is a time to work and a time to stop work.