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Updated: Jun 12, 2020

Ask yourself three questions. Do you remain at work longer than your coworkers, even when your work is completed? Are you afraid to take a vacation thinking something will happen when you’re not there? Do you answer email messages throughout the weekend and late into the night? If the answer is ‘yes’ read on.

Everyone has responsibilities, especially when serving in key career roles. But overworking can be physically and mentally exhausting and counterproductive. Take time to truly be ‘off work’ for self-reflection and rejuvenation. Try to work smarter, not harder.

This thinking is difficult for women who believe they must be better, smarter, and more accomplished than their male colleagues in order to get ahead or receive a job promotion. Really, do you need to work 12-18-hour days or answer endless emails on Saturday night to be perceived as qualified? When was the last time your male boss was the last one to leave the office? Working 12-hour days may be required sometimes but it should not be your norm.

Danielle, a government official was the first woman promoted to her position in the county. “I was working 18-hour days just to keep up with the workload.” She shared that she couldn’t keep the pace up and eventually got sick, losing both time and money. “Those were tough times. Now I work a normal 8-hour day and call it quits. I realized how important it was for me to have my down time. I am not going to work myself to death.”

Angie thought she needed to prove herself after being hired as the company’s first women senior accountant. “I was scared to death that I didn’t have the skills compared to the former guy who held this position. After two to three months, I thought, this is crazy. I can’t keep this up. I’m doing a great job and I don’t need to keep proving myself.”

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