Work overload in the workplace is the number one reason why people hate their job. 

Or their boss. Or their job and their boss.

Work overload causes stress at work.

You have difficulty relaxing.

The inability to cope with your to-do list and poor health are always present.

That overwhelming feeling that there are just not enough hours in the day creeps in uninvited.

Most people suffer from work overload on their jobs. And high achievers suffer the most.

If you want to be good at what you do, so damn good that you make your freedom life come true, it is easy to fall prey to a huge workload.

Some stress is good for you. Too much workload leads to exhaustion. If you want to avoid falling into the abyss of unreasonable achievements, consider changing a few harmful behaviors.

Work Overload in the Workplace: Definition

Work overload is any work situation in which the job demand exceeds available resources. If you are unable to cope with the tasks at hand and feel frustrated, and pressed for time or money, you are weighed down by workload.  

In terms of quality, work overload may exceed your or your team’s capabilities, skills, and competencies to deal with a pressing work matter.

In terms of quantity, overload may express as a lack of hours in the day or not enough people on the team.   

The most harmful effect of work overload is the negative impact on your emotional and physical health which simply paralyzes you and prevents you from coming up with creative solutions to problems.

As much as being overloaded and stressed is detrimental for employees, it creates an avalanche effect. It results in employer overload that occupies the whole team.

The Employer’s overload is an even bigger problem for a business.

How to Get Rid of Work Overload 

Here is what causes a lot of your overload-related problems: 

1. Perfectionism

Perfectionism is the behavior of setting up far-fetched expectations of yourself and others, being overly critical, finding mistakes, and fearing failure. Perfectionists procrastinate, forget to champion their successes, be their own best mentors, and have difficulties accepting compliments. 

How to deal with perfectionism: Striving to do a great job and bring a project to an end up to a high-quality standard is good. But setting up impossible standards for yourself or others is where the overload happens. Create realistic goals, adjust your expectations, delegate more work, and ask for feedback.

Start by making small changes. 

2. Never say no

The inability to say no comes at a high mental cost which cascades down to having to deal with massive work overload in the workplace. If you are saying yes and deep down you want to say no, you are essentially lying to others. This is the basis for creating bad job relationships and working with incompatible employees and clients. 

How to deal with never saying no: Saying no to others means saying yes to yourself and creating space for giving your best work for others. More no’s to incompatible clients are more yes’s to perfect clients.  Practice saying no by creating firm boundaries with your time and prioritizing activities that contribute to your business goals.

3. Savior complex

The savior complex is when you take on the role of “saving” others or helping others when it is undue. It is also known as the white knight syndrome. While landing a hand to a teammate is considered helpful and rewarding at the workplace, constantly abandoning your business goals for the sake of others is problematic. 

How to deal with the savior complex: Taking too much on for others is a responsibility problem and an indicator of poor leadership. If you are a manager, you may have the tendency to jump in and solve other people’s problems. 

Ask yourself: “Am I doing this only because I think it is the noble thing to do or because it will effectively contribute to my team’s goals?” 

Effective delegation skills, a solid hiring framework, and clear job roles help you stay away from his damaging behavior that can bring all sorts of stress and a huge workload.  

Learn more: Coaching and Leadership: What is Your Style? 

4. Overwork

Working hard is good, but overworking is not. The cult of overwork is even considered a marker of success. 

If you feel energized, exhilarated, and elated from accomplishing your goals you are working hard and picking up the rewards. If you are stressed, anxious, and unable to enjoy free time, you are overworked. 

How to deal with overworking: Some jobs are more prone to overworking than others. Since running your own business gives you the liberty of choice. Time management techniques to learn to self-manage and manage others can help you create a structure to work within the strength and capacity you have and avoid work overload in the workplace.

Learn more: 8 Time Management Techniques to Stop Working Long Hours

5. Burnout

Burnout is the cumulative effect of perfectionism, never saying no, playing the savior role, and overworking to the point of exhaustion. Burnout is a result of long-term job stress. If you’re suffering from work burnout, you’ll be forgetful, less appreciative of results and effort, make more mistakes, and take longer to complete a simple task.

The worst thing is you may lose interest in your work and become cynical about your business goals. And when you don’t approach goals optimistically, the only way is downwards.

How to deal with burnout: Establish routines you can stick to which allow you to develop a work-life balance. Systems and structures you set in your daily schedule help you keep yourself and your team on track when challenges show up. Remember to ask for support from a coach or a mentor if you feel exhausted and totally out of sync with what you do and where you are in life.

Listen to the Virtual Frontier Podcast:

Are you a perfectionist that is unable to say no, runs to save situations long past their course, and ends up stressed with an exhausted team?

Download the Flash Focus Framework and say goodbye to work overload in the workplace forever!

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