Working a full-time job eats up 40 hours of your week, or more if you work overtime. Unfortunately, if your job is not ideal, those 40 hours could feel much longer and take a toll on both your mental and physical health.
You man also feel like you’re running the rat race — a strenuous, competitive pursuit that often seems like it’s in vain, which can push stress levels to out of control. If your full-time job is wreaking havoc on your life, it’s probably time for a change.
You’re Having Health Issues
“Listen to your body; if you are chronically fatigued, your health is declining, and your body feels like it is breaking down, this is your biggest clue that you should slow down,” said Paul French. managing director at Intrinsic Search.
“Your body is intelligent and if you listen, you will hear when it tells you that you are stretched thin.”
You Have a Lack of Motivation
“Dwindling motivation to do anything work-related is not a sign that you are lazy; it could be that you are overworked and overwhelmed, and it is time to slow down,” said French.
“Lack of motivation can feel a lot like depression. Some symptoms include sadness, dread, lack of sleep or sleeping too much, anxiety, moodiness and even suicidal thoughts. In other words, work is no longer giving you joy.”
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You Don’t Have Time To Take a Lunch Break
“Some jobs are so demanding that they don’t allow time for employees to take necessary lunch breaks,” said Brian Jones, MEd, LMHC. “This can happen even if the employer is technically meeting legal requirements. You might be constantly receiving messages or requests from coworkers during your break, or having meetings scheduled over your lunch break.”
You’re Exhausted at Day’s End, but Can’t Sleep
“Another sign of working too much is not having enough energy to make dinner at the end of the day, while also being unable to relax and get a good night’s sleep,” said Jones. “Without these basic building blocks making up a person’s daily routine, it can be difficult to improve time management anywhere else.”
Your Work is Affecting Your Mood
“You might also find that work is affecting your mood,” said Jones. “Perhaps you’re more irritable, anxious or depressed than you used to be. While mood changes can be due to a variety of factors, working too much can be a big one.”
Your Boundaries Are Blurred
“Sometimes folks who work too much violate their own time boundaries,” said Jones.
“Even when you tell yourself you’re done working for the day, you’re still checking emails as you get into bed. Maybe you’re taking your work laptop with you on vacation. If there’s no clear boundary between your work life and your personal life, then this could have a negative impact on your personal relationships. You might notice that you prioritize work obligations over spending time with family and friends.”
You Can’t Stop Thinking About Work
“Finally, one other thing to consider is whether you’re able to turn off your work brain.” said Jones. “Even if you are spending time with loved ones, are you really present with them, or are you thinking about problems at the job? Maybe you’re always stressed about your next presentation or concerned about a problematic customer.”
Pros of Transitioning From Full-Time Work to Part-Time
“Making the leap to part-time work is a complicated decision, and I believe the right call is different for everyone,” said Jones. “However, here are some things to consider about switching to part-time.
- You can have more time to spend with family and friends.
- You can engage more with hobbies. If your job itself doesn’t provide the type of fulfillment you want in your life, maybe having time for hobbies will provide the balance you need.
- There may be physical health benefits. Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which puts the body into a fight-or-flight state. While this state is helpful for survival, constantly being in fight-or-flight long-term can cause all kinds of adverse health effects.
- You may be able to follow a more regular meal and sleep schedule.
- You might come into contact with a more authentic version of yourself, outside of your identity at work. Sometimes people who only think about their jobs don’t have any idea who they are outside of work situations.
Cons of Transitioning From Full-Time Work to Part-Time
Obviously, there can be disadvantages to working part-time too, including financial risk. Here are some cons to consider.
- You might lose key benefits like health insurance or paid family and medical leave, depending on where you live and how many hours you work.
- While you can have more time for hobbies, you might not have as much money to fund those hobbies. The same goes for going out with friends or family.
- For some people, reducing work hours might be a way of running from their problems. This may be a way of giving into their anxiety and discomfort at work, rather than pushing themselves to expand their comfort zones.
- You might also not find a more fulfilling life outside of work. It may take some extra effort to make sure that you’re still using your time in a fulfilling manner.
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