The ding sounded, and the next 'I need this ASAP" email landed in my inbox. Ding, ding, ding as ASAP number two loaded and landed, my chest clutched, pain shot through my heart as if a two hundred ton arrow had hit me dead center. I tried to draw a deep breath to relax, but the pain didn't ease. I shifted forward in my seat as tears began to fill my eyes. I can do this, and I can't let my bosses down. Finish the list, my mind said, but my body screamed, stop, stop, please stop! My mind would not accept that I was overwhelmed, overworked, and maxed out on stress, but my body was making it abundantly clear.
I reached for the phone and dialed 911. The notification to stop was so clear that the approaching sounds of the ambulance sirens were making the message known to my entire neighborhood. As the EMT, read out my blood pressure and slipped a nitroglycerin tablet under my tongue, I resigned internally. I surrendered and said enough.
You see, I had surrendered many times before this incident, but I had not resigned. I would retreat, recuperate, and restart over and over again, but this time, I knew change was required if I wanted to maintain my sanity and not fall over and die.
Have you ever pushed yourself hard and fast to please someone else? Have you felt that the more you did, the more work was expected of you, even when you were up a night trying to get it all done? I'm not saying quit your job, but I am saying it may be time to reevaluate why you feel its okay for others to give you away, use you up and trample your ability.
So, take a long look at the symptoms of overworked and stressed.
Do you dread going to work?
Do you worry about the next day at night?
Do you find yourself feeling like crying or irritable when at work?
Do you have trouble sleeping at night?
Do you have problems focusing?
If you have these symptoms, consider talking with your manager, taking some time off, or getting into therapy. No matter what, don't let the stress cause you to sit at your desk and feel ill. Your health and time on earth are more important than the hours spent suffering behind that desk.
If you need to develop an exit plan, do it and move on with your life. Dying at the desk is not worth it, because tomorrow human resources will be advertising your job.
I can work with you to develop an exit plan, contact me today at LButler@LynneandCompany.org.