There’s a lot of things to consider when you want to be the best, optimal employee. You should be thinking about metrics, meeting the right goals, understanding the best efforts in life and making sure that all the tasks assigned to you are done at the right time. But that’s not all. There are other not-so-well discussed topics out there about being an employee, and one of them is the issue of overworking. And it’s an issue worth discussing because of the health and risk factors involved.

The Real Dangers of Overworking

In our day of overworking people and age where it seems to be an honor to always be busy, there is always the constant temptation to succeed. People fall prey to always working, to always meet the next working goal. In fact, a recent New York Times article even mentioned that the millennials today are often making it a fashion symbol to be always grinding, hustling, working for the system.

The ancient wisdom would often be to only use working as an instrument to live, a means of livelihood, not life itself. But it seems that today, there’s a pressure to be a workaholic. There seems to be an unwritten message that to always hustle is the ideal, not a danger. So here are some of the things that one should remember to achieve work-life balance and the dangers it poses to an employee.

1. Evaluate what’s important

It’s important to always know what you really want to achieve in your work. Set priorities, understand what really matters, and what doesn’t, and what can be delegated. Employees should not be put in a box that they are made to think all that matters in the world is to work for money.

The mindset that comes in overworking usually gives these people the wrong idea about work. You as an employee or a worker should understand the value of life beyond it. Yes, there are people who find that work is already the meaning of their life, but that’s enough. That’s rarely the case, so it’s better to be safe and try to achieve the work-life balance. Otherwise, detrimental effects could set in. And would you be willing to risk your health just for some work that’s not your full identity?

So it’s important to find what’s important to you, and what part of your work you can skip, and what part of your life you want to spend outside it.

2. Learn what’s enough

Sure, you want to get promoted. You want to go beyond what’s expected of you and bring to the table of your career what no other employee offers. And that’s why you work like there’s no tomorrow. You set a limit for yourself too much and enforce no limits on your work obligations. That’s very risky for your health because while stress might be healthy in little dose, going beyond that means you could worsen your health.

If you’re not being careful, you could be depriving yourself of good sleep, and you don’t need a doctor to tell you that sleep deprivation leads to more harmful effects. You’ll have diminished energy, and you’re risking your mental or physical health. Accepting too many assignments or committing too many projects could also be risking your social life. That’s another health risk.

3. Isolation from family and friends

Would you believe that overworking could also cost your personal relationships? When you’re overworking, you obviously can’t give a dedicated amount of time to your loved ones. If you keep on bailing out on your friends, they may feel like you don’t like them, or you don’t treat them as special as they treat you. That’s something that may not look like a risk, but that still causes unneeded stress and anxiety that could be contributing factors to illnesses.

Take time to relax and make sure you don’t isolate your loved ones. So always find time to leave work behind, spend time with other people and get out more. You can’t do this every day, though, as it’s not practical, but twice a month would be ideal.

4. Leave work at the right time

Don’t allow yourself to get too much work, and you can prevent that by leaving work early or at the right time. Leaving early means more rest time, more time for you to do what you really love. And avoid bringing your work at home. Make your home a haven detached from work, and you’re more likely to get a better rest.

Leaving your work in the office also means that you’re making a conscious effort to leave physical documents, your computer, files, tasks, and assignments separated from the work you do in your office. This ensures that when you spend time with your loved ones at home, you are giving all your complete undivided attention.

This is easier said than done, though. So take it up at your own pace, and take it slow, and try different tactics, and find out what works. One of those tricks would be to practice mindfulness or meditation.

5. Have personal time for self-face

As mentioned above, spending time with your loved ones is a good way to prevent health risks. Other than spending time with others, it’s also ideal to find time to focus on oneself. Focused time on oneself brings more joy than one could imagine.

It’s healthy to establish a routine for oneself, for meditation, fun time and other joyful activities and hobbies. Enjoying a good bath, reading a good book or just spending time with pets are just some good ideas to self-care.

These are just some of the tips that may help any worker prevent the harms of overworking. These tips could work to some, and not for others, but following these tips help ensure you get better mental health and you get a healthy work and life balance. Implement these tips into your daily routine, and you’re all set for a healthy life.