It’s hard to say no when we know we should. Maybe you thought taking on another project without considering the consequences would be a good idea. Or perhaps you were given more responsibility and felt like you had to take on that extra load. Whatever the reason, taking on too much can quickly become overwhelming.
Juggling a million different things is a way of life for many freelancers. However, there are limits to how much work you can do before it becomes unhealthy. When you start to feel overwhelmed, you should step back, reassess what is going on in your life, and make some changes.
Here are warning signs that may indicate you’re overloaded.
1. You feel stressed or anxious
Feeling stressed is normal, but feeling anxious or on the verge of a panic attack can signify that you’re taking on too much work. You may also have trouble getting to sleep at night or waking up in the morning because you’re too stressed out.
Realizing when you’re taking on too much is important because it can lead to problems with your health. Take some time off or delegate some tasks to someone else. Listen to what your body is telling you.
2. You have no time for self-care
Do you find yourself working late into the night or on weekends? As well as feeling overwhelmed, if you find that you have no time for self-care, your health is likely suffering. Your health and well-being always come first. Not taking care of yourself can lead to a grumpy you, and often, this can cause you to behave in ways you might not be happy with to cope.
3. You can’t complete projects on time
If you cannot submit your work to clients on time, that’s a sure sign that you’re overworked. Another common scenario: you’ve completed your work at the start of the week, but you find it more challenging to complete tasks as the week progresses.
A lack of productivity is never an indication of your work ethic. It’s usually a sign that you’ve lost focus or are suffering from burnout. Take care of yourself to be the best version of yourself for your family, friends, and clients.
4. You send poor-quality work
Do you feel pressured to send work to clients immediately? Do you think your output is half-baked and not reflective of you as a writer? It may be tempting to get the job done and move on to your next, but doing so may not always be the best approach.
Remember that your words are your own. If you feel like you’re not giving your best work, consider taking a step back and waiting until you are ready to deliver your draft.
5. Your stress puts a strain on your relationships
It’s no secret that having an unhealthy amount of work can negatively impact your life. There is a good chance that some of your closest relationships have suffered because you’re always working. When you’re often stressed and emotionally drained, it can be hard to be there for others.
It’s common for workaholics to focus on their work so much that they lose sight of what’s essential. Working to the point of feeling drained and tired is unhealthy. Remember: life isn’t all about work. Take some time out for yourself. If you put your own needs first, you’ll be able to offer more to those around you.
Conclusion: Set boundaries
There are several ways to manage your stress levels so that you can still enjoy your relationships and the people around you. The key is not to let work take control. Some stress-relieving strategies include practicing meditation, reading, listening to music, exercising, caring for your body, and spending time with loved ones.
Building boundaries for yourself is critical. You will run yourself to the ground if you don’t set any limits. Remember that one of your core reasons for working for yourself is to become the best version of yourself. Instead of working long hours and taking on more than you can handle, set boundaries to set yourself up for success.