In the current economy, companies are struggling to do more with less. That translates to more work with fewer people. Which means that, if you’re lucky enough to have a job, you’re probably struggling to keep up with all the work that needs to be done.
At some point, things are going to break down. Perhaps that persistent cough you’ve had will develop into an illness that can’t be ignored. Or someday you’re going to decide to just chuck it all and escape, even to the extent of quitting your job.
Look at it this way: At some point, you’re going to reach your limit – physically, mentally, or just the number of hours in a week. You just won’t be able to do any more.
What if you just decided to set that limit where you WANT it to be? Just make up a number. You won’t spend any more than 43 hours on work. Or 61 hours. Or stop working, no matter what, at 7:38.
If you don’t trust your boss or co-workers to respect your limit, you don’t have to tell them. It might be better to be honest with them, of course, but we’re talking about saving your sanity and health here. It’s YOUR job to respect and enforce your personal limit.
Yes, there may be consequences to setting a limit and saying NO. There are also consequences (to your employer, not just you!) to getting sick. This is part of life, and nothing you can do will create more hours in the day.
It’s important to be consistent about this. People around you will adjust their work around what you’re able to do, so it will make their life more predictable. They’ll push on you, of course, but respect the limit you’ve set for yourself.
And respect the others around you who are struggling with the same thing. They have their limits, even if they’re not clear about what they are.
by Carl Dierschow