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“Don’t burn yourself out,” is what they say. At this point, it’s probably an empty phrase to your ears.
You’ve heard it from numerous family members and friends over the years. It has become almost mundane, to the point where you think, “yes, of course I must be careful,” but then overburden yourself anyway. Yet your health and well-being — as well as that of your loved ones — depends on you making wise choices about what you can successfully fit into one day.
If you have perfectionist tendencies, as many of us do, you probably hate the feeling of being “too easy” on yourself. You don’t want to feel you’re making excuses and not achieving what you “should be.”
Here, we’re going to argue with your perfectionist side, and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that by overscheduling, you’re actually achieving less, not more, in the long run. Quality and quantity both suffer.
How is this possible? Human beings are only capable of doing so much before the quality of their efforts is adversely affected. No matter how hardworking you are, if you cross the threshold of confusion and/or exhaustion, you’re decreasing your level of meaningful productivity.
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It Affects Your Performance
Would you rather do a certain number of things really well, or lots of things at a mediocre level? Do you really want the word “mediocre” to even be in your vocabulary? Remember that the only way to ensure consistently good quality work is to avoid overscheduling yourself. If the whole purpose of overscheduling yourself is to ensure advancement in your career, won’t overburdening yourself become counterproductive if it actually hurts your job performance? If the purpose is to help ensure the happiness and well-being of your loved ones, won’t overscheduling make achieving this goal less likely?
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It Strains Your Relationships
You should avoid overscheduling yourself because it can cause you to miss or neglect appointments and other commitments, thus possibly causing misunderstanding, anger, and resentment from people you care about and people you work with. This anger and resentment can cause a significant amount of further stress, thereby making burnout even more likely to happen. A vicious cycle can take over, in which you are constantly trying to compensate for what you see as your failures, but ever increasing burnout is making success less and less likely.
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It Hurts Your Health
Even if you don’t pay enough attention to the importance of your health, remember its significance to the people you care about most. If your health takes a downturn, it will not only hurt your job performance, but adversely affect your family and friends as well. The link between health and stress is widely known, and is being recognized by health professionals to a progressively greater extent. In addition to stress’ direct link to particular health conditions, it also exerts an overall strain on the body, making a wide variety of diseases and disorders more likely to develop.
It’s clear that any perceived (but false) rewards of overscheduling aren’t worth the detrimental effects it can have on you, your loved ones, and your career. So take a break – you deserve it!