Working Overtime: Reasons Why You Should Avoid it

  | 4 min read
working overtime

Working overtime can bring benefits to both employees and companies. We often believe that working longer hours means we will get more tasks done, getting more money or  getting promoted quickly for our ‘hard work’. However, excessive overtime may cause more problems than they are worth. Studies show that too much work can lead to health and productivity problems hence impact both your carer and the company growth.

Why You Should Stop Working Overtime

1. Health Problems

working overtime health problems

According to studies, people who work more than 55 Hours a week have a high chance of facing health problems compared to those with a better work-life balance. Diseases such as blood pressure, back injury, mental problems and depression have been linked to long working hours. The longer the hours you will put into work, the higher the risk.

2. You Productivity Will Decrease

Working too much might lead to fatigue, as you are likely to be too physically and mentally exhausted to perform at your best ability. This may increase your absenteeism at work and risk to unhealthy work practices, such as sleeping at work. Constantly working overtime could impair your performance while lowering attention abilities and might result in poor productivity. You need to focus on getting your work done on time and not how many hours you stay at work.

3. Your Quality of Life Will Decrease

Working overtime may lead you to lose time for important family and friends moments. You may be making for more money that may benefit your family but you may be too exhausted to have enough time with them. Studies show that it is more likely for relationships to be damaged as spending so much time at work means less time for communication with your partner or children at home.

How Can You Stop This?

1. Do not Be Afraid to Say NO

working overtime do not be afraid to say no

When you have a deadline for a specific task and your manager gives you another task, you should not be afraid to say no. Have an open discussion about the task so that you can both weigh the work you have and prioritize so that the important things get done first. If both tasks are important, your manager might delegate the task to someone else so that deadlines are still met.

2. Set Aside Your Distractions

We all have notifications for important events that can really distract you away from completing your tasks on time. They include social media notifications and meetings that never end. These can just take you away from your task. Some of these are simply unavoidable, but others are. So, only enable  important notifications like meetings. The rest can be checked at the end of your work day.

3. Set Realistic Deadlines

working overtime set realistic deadlines

Having a number of unaccomplished tasks will obviously impact the progress of your work and overall career. So before you set the deadline for your tasks, you should first consider two things: the amount of work that you already have, and second, the time estimate of your new task. If you think it might take more than normal working hours to accomplish, it is better to communicate this with your manager so that he can find a way to delegate or adjust your deadlines.

4. Communicate and Ask for Help

Develop a habit of open communication with your manager.  Discuss your current workload so that your manager can spread tasks across the other workmates if there is a need. It is your manager’s responsibility to ensure that you work at your optimum and not over stretching. The only way they can help is if they are aware whenever you feel overburdened. When it comes to work, quality is better than quantity, so you better work normal hours and do an amazing job as opposed to more hours with shoddy work.  


Mustapha Mosha
Mustapha Ally is a Community Marketing Manager at Zoom Tanzania and BrighterMonday Tanzania. He loves digital marketing social media