Some people work tirelessly at their jobs. Walter Orthmann holds the record for the longest career in the same company. He had worked at Industrias Renaux S.A. (now called RenauxView) for 84 years and 9 days—from January 17, 1938, to January 26, 2022.
If you want to have a long career, too, you can’t be working all the time. You hear the advice to go on micro-breaks, lunchtime breaks, and longer breaks to ease your stress and refresh your mind. But sometimes, you don’t even realize that you’re burned out before it’s too late.
Pay attention to these signs that reveal you need a break.
1. You’re physically exhausted
A feeling of extreme, persistent tiredness is sadly a common experience. But all too often, people don’t treat it seriously, thinking they’re simply tired after a long day. The longer you forget to check in with yourself, the more it becomes a problem, affecting your health and safety.
Here are the signs of extreme fatigue:
- No energy
- Accidentally falling asleep at inappropriate times
- Being unable to stay alert
- Inability to accomplish any activities
- Trouble focusing
Put your work life on pause if you notice any of these.
2. You’re making careless mistakes
Even when you manage to have a productive day, it doesn’t go your way. When you neglect your breaks, you end up making stupid mistakes, which slow down all your progress. A task that would normally take you a couple of minutes might waste your entire day.
Don’t be hard on yourself if that happens. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad trader—it’s likely that you’re very overworked. But you have to recognize that little mistakes can have serious implications and stop working for a bit.
3. You don’t care about the future
You’re numb to what is going on around you, you don’t worry about the outcomes of your decisions, and you’re not invested in other people’s lives. In the best-case scenario, you will feel detached from work. In the worst-case scenario, it will impair your judgment, and you will start acting impulsively.
When you’re close to burnout, you’re easily drawn into activities that you wouldn’t normally consider. Perhaps, it’ll be a particularly risky trade or a trade that’s too big for your capital.
4. You’re getting negative
Burnout doesn’t always mean tension and irritability. It may creep in in such subtle ways that you may not even notice that thinking negatively becomes your second nature. Take a good look at what you do and how you think. You may have worked yourself to the point where you’re in a permanent state of cranky and you can’t see the bright side.
There is tons of advice on getting out of the negative loop. One tip is reevaluating negative thoughts. You may discover the positive aspects of the seemingly unfortunate events that created them.
5. Your schedule is a mess
The amount of time you plan for a task fails to match up to the time it actually takes. You miss your deadlines. You overbook your calendar one day and have nothing to do the next day. If your days keep spinning out of control like this, sort your schedule out before taking on other commitments. Unless you stop being psychologically attached to your work, you won’t stop compromising your best efforts to manage your schedule.
6. You’ve been neglecting your health
Long trading sessions can lead to a cycle of neglecting your self-care and basic needs. But there is no good reason to skip meals or eat a consistently unhealthy diet, fall into bad hygiene habits, and spend days without any physical activity.
Use your break to take care of your physical and mental health, sleep well, get a checkup, exercise, and eat food that’s good for you—overall, be kind to your body.
7. You don’t enjoy anything anymore
Feeling indifferent to things you once loved is a telltale sign that something is wrong. It might even be a sign of depression. Take a step back and find time for your favorite activities—hobbies, spending time with family, going out with friends, watching movies, etc.
If you still feel apathetic, consider talking to a professional. And even then, a break from work will be beneficial because you’ll have more time to rediscover the joys in life.
If you’re feeling any of these symptoms, slow down or take a moment to breathe. And don’t worry about missed opportunities. You can’t be a productive worker when feeling stressed, drained, and exhausted mentally and physically anyway.