The more you say “yes” to requests thrown your way, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout and depression. All of these issues slowly chip away at your capability to reach your goals.
Remember that every time you say “yes” to something, you’re saying “no” to something else. That something else could be your ability to meet a different deadline, or even just your overall well-being.
Taking on an unrealistic workload will exhaust you and detract from what you should really be focusing on. Some people even believe that taking on more than you can handle opens you up for a blow up at work.
As well as over-committing, overworking yourself is detrimental to your health and your job performance. Research repeatedly shows that taking too much on can lead to multiple health problems, including sleep impairment and even heart problems. Not only that, but overworking is bad for business, too.
Research suggests that whatever our reason for doing it, (pressure from bosses, an overdeveloped sense of duty, etc.) overwork isn’t productive. It doesn’t result in more output. It can even be harmful for the companies we work for.
Employees perform best between hours two and six of work. Any more than eight, and productivity levels drop. It makes sense – if you’re feeling fatigued, you’re less likely to deliver your full potential. You might even make mistakes.
Feeling like a fraud
Impostor syndrome affects high-achieving individuals (usually women) who, despite their hard work and ability, are convinced that they are frauds. They believe all their success is down to luck or good timing, and that everyone is about to find out the truth – they’ve been faking all along.
Does this sound like you? Then stop.
If it isn’t addressed, individuals who suffer with impostor syndrome can develop issues including anxiety, depression and low self-confidence. These feelings can hinder your courage in and outside of the workplace – you’ll be less likely to try something new, or go for a promotion in fear of exposing failure.
Kyle from StartupBros wrote a useful and honest post about how to overcome impostor syndrome. It clearly resonated – at last count, it had over 5k shares and 800 comments. So, if the feeling sounds familiar, remember that you’re not alone and there are ways to overcome it to reach your true potential.
Holding on to mistakes
Nobody is perfect. Just because you made a mistake – once or a dozen times over – it doesn’t mean you have to dwell on them. Holding onto previous slip-ups stops you from moving forward.
It’s important to discern between thinking about it in order to understand why you made the mistake you did, and simply dwelling on it over and over again. When you’ve reached that level of understanding, let it go. Leave any negative feelings associated with the experience behind, and start concentrating on tackling new challenges.
Comparing yourself to other people
It’s easy to convince yourself that everybody is more successful than you are. Whether you’re scrolling Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or looking around the office, everyone at some point or other feels like they’re lagging behind.
Comparison really is the thief of joy. Comparing yourself to other people damages your sense of self, and hinders your efforts to accomplish your goals. If you feel yourself sinking into feelings of inadequacy or self-doubt, try to focus less on what other people are doing, and start concentrating on yourself. Deborah Carr recommends that, instead of using social comparison as a benchmark for success, we should try temporal comparison.
Temporal comparison is the comparison of us today to where we were in the past, or where we want to be in the future. Instead of focusing on one-upmanship, Carr suggests this type of comparison gives us a more realistic strategy for reaching our goals. Thinking about where we’d like to be, in comparison to where we currently are, helps us plan strategically for how we can reach that point.
If you recognize any of these office habits in your own behaviour, don’t worry! It isn’t too late to change them. By learning to say “no”, practicing self-control, letting go of mistakes and stopping comparing yourself to others, you can break the habits that are standing in between you and career success.