Too much to do and not enough time? We’re all likely to have experienced this feeling – maybe too often! No matter how many tasks we cross off our to-do list, it seems to be forever growing as there’s always more to do. Of course, having things to do at work, whether fun/interesting projects we chose to work on or those tedious admin tasks, is not a bad thing in itself.
Our workload becomes a problem when we have unreasonable deadlines or multiple deadlines to meet, increased workload and pressures due to staff shortages, and insufficient resources to manage these excessive workloads. If we continue to overwork ourselves, this can cause stress and overwhelm, often leading to burnout, poor mental and physical health outcomes, and reduced job performance.
The other side of workload is when we have too little to do. When our workload is too low, boredom takes over, which then negatively affects job satisfaction and mental wellbeing. So, the challenge is finding the right balance of workload – both for ourselves individually and, if we are a leader or manager, for our teams.
With plenty of research done in this field, the consequences of work overload are, unfortunately, all too familiar. Take Mary for example.