Burning the candle: Top five ways to know if you are working too hard

If your work hours are starting to hit the '50 mark', you need to start worrying. Many workers will plough on through, completely unaware that they are running themselves into the ground. It can be difficult to detect that you are actually working too hard, so here are the top ways to figure it out for yourself.

1. A race against time

Being at work can often seem like being in a bubble, but if you have no time to be doing even the basics at home, something is seriously wrong. Signs of this include eating microwave meals at home and not getting enough sleep at night. If you want your body to perform normally, you will need meals that are nutritious and low in saturated fats, while coffee should never be a substitute for a good night's sleep. Others meanwhile will have time to go to bed, but will lay there wide awake because their cogs are still ticking. Have a long bath. Read a book. Watch a movie. Do anything to wind down.

2. Your work is not your friend

You have about 100 Facebook notifications. Your phone is going off like crazy. Your parents are wondering if you have fallen off the face of the planet. You forgot your friend's birthday. Does this all sound familiar? If so, you are working too hard. You need to give yourself some solid social time to forget about the worries of work. Furthermore, once you do start socialising, if you are snapping at people or have a short temper, you need to ask yourself why. Getting angry will never help, so stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy some quality time with your mates.

3. Bad performances

If your brain is trying to juggle multiple things, it is easy to get disorganised and make big mistakes. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can cause memory issues, for example. What is the point of being at work if you cannot even do your job properly? So slow down and ensure you are doing your work correctly.

4. Looking like death

A simple look in the mirror will confirm this for you. You are pale, you have huge bags under your eyes and you have gained a lot of weight. Furthermore, you have had the same cold for several months. All of this points to your body being run down. If your body has not had enough rest or food, your muscle and fat reserves will be used up for energy, while your immune system will not work efficiently against viruses and bacteria.

5. Am I my own rival?

If you are boasting about how many hours you work or that you have only had three hours sleep a night, you need to realise that work may have become a bit of an addiction. If this is the case, you will need to speak to someone close to you or an individual at work.

If you fall under any of these categories, it is time to seriously re-evaluate your lifestyle. No career is worth your health.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hospitality jobs.

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