12 warning signs being overly productive is wearing you down, according to psychology

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Being productive is great. I get things done left and right, and I’m happy and satisfied with myself at the end of the day. 

However, there’s a fine line between being productive and overdoing it. When you push yourself too hard to be constantly productive, it can take a toll on you.

You can easily find yourself feeling exhausted, stressed, and even overwhelmed by the pressure to keep up the pace.

So, let’s see some warning signs that being too productive is wearing you down. 

1) Workaholism

Thinking about work all the time, even when you’re supposed to be relaxing, can be a sign of overworking. 

When you’re constantly thinking about work, even during your downtime, your brain never gets a chance to switch off. 

Think of it as having a background app on that’s always running, draining your mental energy even when you’re supposed to be unwinding.

This “always on” mentality is common these days and can lead to workaholism, where work becomes an obsession that engulfs your thoughts and actions.

Not only does this prevent you from fully relaxing and recharging, but it can also spill over into other areas of your life, causing strain on your relationships.

2) Constant fatigue

Research in psychology suggests that burnout is often linked to chronic workplace stressors, including:

  • Excessive workload, 
  • Lack of control over one’s work, 
  • Feeling unappreciated or unrecognized.

Feeling tired all the time, no matter how much rest you get, is a big clue that you’re pushing yourself too hard. 

Ignoring this fatigue and pushing through can have serious consequences for your health and productivity. 

I’ve learned the hard way that it can weaken your immune system, make you more susceptible to illness, and impair your ability to think clearly and make sound decisions.

3) Decreased motivation

And when you’re not excited about things you used to love, it’s a sign that all the hustle might be wearing you down. You’re basically losing interest in your favorite hobbies because you’re too tired to enjoy them.

Psychology sheds light on this phenomenon, suggesting that prolonged stress and overwork deplete your mental and emotional resources, leaving you feeling drained and apathetic.

Plus, it’s a legitimate response to chronic stress and exhaustion.

Studies have shown that burnout can result in a loss of passion and purpose, making it difficult to find meaning in your work or personal life.

4) Difficulty concentrating

When you push yourself too hard, your brain tries to juggle too many things at once, and you naturally can’t focus on any one thing.

Psychology explains that difficulty concentrating is a common side effect of burnout, which happens when you’re constantly stressed and overwhelmed.

This lack of focus isn’t just frustrating. It can also impact your performance and productivity. When you’re struggling to concentrate, it’s harder to get things done efficiently and effectively.

For example, you’re at work, trying to finish a project, but your mind keeps wandering. You’re staring at the screen, but you can’t seem to focus on what you’re supposed to be doing.

5) Increased irritability

Overworking can also make you super grumpy about little things. I know it does that to me.

This irritability isn’t just a sign of a bad mood. It’s a bigger symptom of mental and emotional drain. 

When you’re constantly stressed and overworked, it wears down your patience and tolerance levels.

Recognizing this irritability is important so you can take steps to chill out and give yourself a break. 

Take some time for yourself, set boundaries at work, or find healthy ways to let off steam.

6) Physical symptoms and health decline

For most of us, our jobs and careers are the things that make us stressed out the most. But there’s also the family, relationships, unpaid bills, health concerns, and so on and so on. 

However, stress from too much productivity can also mess with your body.

When we’re constantly pushing ourselves to do more and be more productive, our bodies can bear the brunt of that stress.

And so we start noticing various physical symptoms, like headaches, muscle tension, stomach issues, and even more serious health problems over time.

Our bodies are trying to send us warning signals, telling us to slow down and take care of ourselves.

7) Social withdrawal

When work becomes your whole world, you start avoiding your friends and even family members.

First of all, you don’t have any time for them, and second, you don’t have the energy to socialize with anyone outside of work.

This social withdrawal can have serious consequences for your relationships and your mental health because you’re cutting yourself off from a vital source of support and connection, and you’re left isolated and lonely.

8) Perfectionism

According to psychological research, constantly striving for perfection results in increased stress, anxiety, and even burnout. 

You’re putting so much pressure on yourself to be flawless that it becomes exhausting and unsustainable in the long run.

Many people set the bar ridiculously high for themselves and then feel like they have to meet those sky-high standards no matter what.

But here’s the thing, I’ve learned that striving for perfection can actually slow you down and make you less productive. 

You spend so much time fussing over every little detail that you end up getting stuck and not making much progress.

9) Increased anxiety

Overworking can and will make you feel super anxious all the time. When I’m working a lot, I feel like I always have a constant worry in the back of my mind, no matter what I’m doing.

It consumes you, and that can make you feel anxious even when you think everything’s fine. But it’s not, is it? 

How do I cope with anxiousness? I try not to think about the things that worry me.

I’m not sweeping them under the rug, but I also don’t let them seep into my personal time – the time I spend with my wife and son or with my friends. 

There’s a time and place for worrying, and that’s why I’m trying to keep the beast in the cage most of the time. 

I also noticed that putting my thoughts on paper helps.

It releases my worries, at least for the time being, and makes me more relaxed. 

10) Forgetfulness

As I get older, I have to write everything down on my phone.

I’m juggling too many things at the moment, and keeping them in the back of my mind at all times is just too much.

And having too much on your plate does that. It can make it hard to remember stuff. 

And forgetfulness is not just about forgetting little things here and there. It can also affect work performance and relationships. 

When you’re constantly forgetting deadlines, appointments, or important details, you miss things and frustrate others.

So, I started taking steps to simplify my life as much as I could and prioritize what was truly important.

Ultimately, I think it can help lighten the load on my mind and make it easier to remember the things that matter most.

11) Poor decision-making

When you’re exhausted, it’s tough to make good choices. You’re making impulsive decisions because you’re too tired to think things through.

Instead of carefully weighing your options and considering the consequences, you find yourself making impulsive decisions just to get things over with. 

Think of it like grabbing the first thing you see on the menu because you’re too hungry to think about what you really want.

But these snap decisions can have serious repercussions, especially when you’re dealing with important matters like finances, relationships, or career choices.

12) Relationship strain

When work becomes your top priority, everything else gets pushed to the back burner, including your relationships.

And this obviously puts a strain on your personal life.

You start bickering with your significant other because you’re always too busy to go on that date, or you forget your friend’s birthday because you’re swamped with deadlines.

Recognizing when work is causing strain in your relationships is key so you can take steps to balance things out.

Final thoughts

You need to find a balance between getting stuff done and taking care of yourself and your relationships.

When you notice signs like feeling tired all the time, losing interest in things you used to love, or struggling to concentrate, it’s a signal that you’re pushing yourself too hard.

It’s totally okay to say no, set boundaries, and ask for help when you need it.

True success isn’t just about checking things off your to-do list.

It’s about feeling happy, healthy, and fulfilled in all areas of your life.

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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