5 Ways to Tell When You Might be Overthinking Your Job
Are you overthinking your job? We all stress at work. After all, isn’t this kind of the nature of the beast? There are always deadlines. Working with people, even those you get along with, can be fraught with tension, especially when you take into account widely differing personalities. Add to this outside pressure regarding customers or clients, and you’re pretty much guaranteed you’ll find something pressing on your mind in the course of the day.
The last thing you want to do is add to the stress. So how do you keep your thoughts under control? Start by recognizing these danger signs:
You’re Worrying About Your Boss
Sure, having an awareness of your relationship with your boss is a good thing, obsessing about what he thinks of you and trying to interpret the hidden nuances of every last bit of feedback can be downright exhausting. Instead, if you find feedback confusing, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. The rest of the time? Take things at face value. Let’s face it, your boss is probably spending a lot less time worrying about you than you are about them.
You Can’t Let Things Go
This can be especially hard to learn if you’re at all a perfectionist to start with. By getting caught up in the details of trying to get everything absolutely right, you’re never going to feel comfortable with the work you turn in. Worse, you’ll be turning mental somersaults for days afterward, looking for ways you could have done things better. Realize there’s a time to accept something as being good enough, and walk away.
You’re the Only One Worried
Is no one else worried about the things you are? It might be because you’re the one overthinking the situation. Look at what the people you really respect are doing. If they’re calm, take a cue from them. Still, concerned? Ask a mentor or trusted associate for honest feedback to see if you’re off base or not.
You’re Comparing Yourself to Others
Nothing is worse than getting caught up in a cycle of thinking you’re falling short somehow because someone else did it better/faster/more creatively. Focus instead on what you do well and forget the rest.
You’re Obsessing about the Small Stuff
Not everything is worth thinking about. If you’re caught in constant thinking about the little details or unimportant issues, you’re probably overthinking things. Most of these kinds of things really aren’t worth stressing over.
Overall, the best thing you can do to enhance your work life is to take a step back and focus on what you’re spending your time thinking about. Anytime things are out of balance, you’ll know simply by how much the day you’ve devoted to this one thing. When this happens, redirect your thoughts elsewhere. Don’t waste your time on what’s really not important.