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Overworked vs a Normal Workload: How do you know?

Dec 19, 2022
Overworked vs a Normal Workload: How do you know?

Burnout is something that’s widely spoken about - but what about when you don’t feel like this, and instead, feel like you don’t have enough work?

So, how do you know that you’re working at a good rate, without the risk of burning out (or being asked why you do so little)? We wish we had the magic formula for this - but it’s a topic of conversation that is incredibly interesting, especially within the Tech industry.

Let’s unpack the current state of the working world (and our view on what we’ve seen in the market) as well as some things to consider, enabling you to assess your workload.

It’s a trend to be busy

Hustle culture has been unpacked, talked about, and debated a thousand times over - and the conclusion is still the same: it’s a trend to be busy. If you aren’t busy, you aren’t seen as “productive” - and the only time this notion was turned on its head, was when we were thrust into the global pandemic in 2020. 

The pandemic, although a traumatising time for many, was also a deep point of reflection for organisations and employees alike. Many realised that they could be just as productive at home (if not more productive) and also deduced that hours worked didn’t necessarily equal productivity. 

But, as times change once more and we now slip back into pre-pandemic working habits, the same working trends seemingly bubble to the surface: hustle culture is pretty much back. This can give people a skewed view of what is considered busy vs overworked vs procrastination.

Meetings are a time-suck

Even for remote teams, meetings can skew what a normal vs overworked workload can look like. We all have those meetings in our diary that we’d rather avoid - so before you start beating yourself up that you don’t have enough time, it’s probably worth assessing those meetings in your diary that could be reduced, or deleted altogether.

Equally, if you feel that your workload isn’t enough, who can you sit down with every week and help out? It goes both ways.

The perfect workload can only exist with these three things…

Reclaim your time and welcome a more balanced work day which can increase productivity, creativity and mental health. The main way to achieve this is through effective boundary setting. Don’t want to work past your contracted hours? Then don’t. 

Want to keep that meeting to 30 minutes instead of 45 because you think it can be completed efficiently in that time? Do it. Efficiency and boundary setting eat overworking for breakfast - so don’t be afraid to put non-negotiables in place to reclaim your time and manage your workload effectively. 


We don’t want to sound like a cliché, but teamwork really does make the dream work. If you’re feeling overworked - are you delegating enough? Are you working with your colleagues enough? Teamwork can enable you to manage your workload and avoid burnout. It can also allow you to see what your colleagues are doing - what is their workload like? How does it compare? 


Sure, some of us are more efficient than others - those individuals who seemingly can complete a week's worth of work in a matter of hours, but this is all down to discipline and focus. This is nuanced - as we have to also consider neurodivergent individuals and that this will differ for them. 

Some neurodivergent’s - for example, those with ADHD - may be able to function better on some tasks than neurotypicals due to the ability to focus intensely, whereas others - also with ADHD, may get overwhelmed by what is considered a “normal” workload. Focus varies from person to person, however measuring this can enable you to determine whether a workload is “normal” for you - or whether it’s burning you out. 

And finally, if you weren’t doing enough - remember someone would tell you! Too often we are worrying about things that in the grand scheme of it, don’t really matter. If your employer, manager, or colleague thought that you weren’t doing enough work, trust us - you’d either be told or given more work. Ultimately, it’s not your responsibility to overload yourself and take on too much out of guilt or fear. Instead, focus on creating balance for yourself and a workload that is enjoyable and challenging without being draining.

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