Spot the Signs: When You’ve Worked too Much

It doesn’t matter who you are, how well you manage your time or how amazing the team you’ve built around you is – every CEO, entrepreneur, and business owner has gotten to the point where they know they’ve worked too much. How do you spot the signs early on so you can prioritize and slow yourself down?

For me, there are a handful of things that let me know I’ve done too much and need to take a step back. The first and easiest is feeling tired and run down. I love what I do, and I’m excited to do it every day. If there’s ever a moment where I feel like work is a chore, or I’m too tired to accomplish something that I’m passionate about, I know I’m near a breaking point. Work should never be a chore for me – it should be something I get to do. If it turns from a ‘get to do’ into a ‘have to do,’ I know I’ve worked myself too hard.

When I feel disconnected from my spouse or my oldest son shows signs of really missing me, I know I’ve worked too much. Maybe I haven’t had one night home all week, and I haven’t been able to put him to bed. Perhaps I’ve missed date night three weeks in a row and haven’t realized it. It’s so important to stay in tune with your family, to recognize when they need you. They know that what you do is important to you, so they may not want to step up and say something. It’s your job to make time for them in your busy schedule.

I’m in a position where I am never off the clock. My work is my life, and my life is my work, and that’s a choice I’ve (happily) made, but it’s also essential for me to go easy on myself and realize that I am a better version of myself when I am well and rested. I’ll take a non-working lunch with friends, get a massage, or take a late morning to hang out with my boys. My best ideas come to me during moments of downtime, and I find that I am always more gracious to my staff when I am not overworked.

Look for the signs in your own life. Figure out what red flags you see at home and work when you’re just doing too much, and have a plan of action for when that occurs. You owe it to everyone around you to be your best self.