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When 9-5 Doesn't Cut It - Surviving Overtime

07 June 2023

It's no secret that the workplace can be a stressful environment. But when our daily duties become overtime tasks, it can feel like an uphill battle. For those of us who have desk jobs and find ourselves working late into the night, surviving overtime isn't just about getting through the day - it's about staying productive and healthy while doing so!

Why Does Everyone Hate Overtime?

The extra hours you are expected to work in a given week, most often due to company needs or deadlines, is called overtime. It is not uncommon for many desk job workers to find themselves working more than their scheduled shift and often without additional compensation. In fact, overtime is one of many employees' biggest causes of job dissatisfaction.

So why does everyone hate it so much? Well, several factors can contribute to a feeling of frustration and unhappiness amongst workers who are required to put in extra hours. For starters, it takes away valuable time that could be spent with friends and family or pursuing hobbies and other interests. Additionally, working long shifts can lead to fatigue and decreased productivity. Finally, since overtime often goes unpaid, employees feel they're not adequately compensated for their hard work.

The Effects of Overtime

When it comes to getting the job done, many of us have been there—pulling an extra hour or two at work to finish that project before the deadline. But some may not realize that overtime can affect our health and well-being in more ways than one.

Mental Health

The effects of overtime on mental health can vary from person to person, but one thing is for sure: too much work and not enough rest can take a toll. Overtime may lead to increased stress, anxiety, and fatigue which can manifest into more serious conditions such as depression or burnout. Even subtle changes in mood and behavior, like feeling irritable or less able to concentrate, can be signs that your body is struggling with over time.

When people work longer hours, they may have less time to dedicate to taking care of themselves—seeing friends or family, meditating, exercising, or just having some "me" time. Not being able to participate in activities that bring joy and relaxation can further exacerbate feelings of stress and anxiety.

Physical Health

Working overtime can also have physical consequences that are just as detrimental. Not getting enough rest can lead to fatigue, affecting your ability to stay focused and alert during the day. This lack of concentration could lead to accidents or judgment errors when completing tasks at work.

Sleep Patterns

Overtime has a direct impact on sleeping patterns as well. It can disrupt sleep patterns causing people to experience the effects of a lack of sleep.

When people consistently stay up later (or wake up earlier) than their body is used to, it can lead to insomnia or other sleep-related issues. This may include difficulty falling asleep, waking through the night, and feeling unrested upon waking. Furthermore, lack of sleep has been linked to an increase in chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity due to its effect on hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism.

Minimizing the Effects of Overtime

Sometimes, there is no escape from overtime. However, there are several things that employees can do to minimize its effects on their physical and mental health. Let us look at ten ways to combat the effects of overtime.

Get Organized

It begins long before you have to sit for extra hours at your desk. Getting organized is key to preventing overtime effects. Studies show that when you plan, you are more likely to finish tasks on time and avoid unnecessary stress.

Organization can mean different things to everyone. Start by listing all your duties for the day, week, or month. Be realistic about how much time each task will take and prioritize accordingly. When making lists, break up big projects into smaller tasks so they don't seem too daunting. Get creative with ways to keep yourself accountable - set reminders, use a planner app, or do checklists!

Organizing your workspace may also help get the job done faster and more efficiently. Keep your desk clean and clutter-free. Have all the tools needed for completing tasks nearby. That way, if you need to refer back to something, you won't have to search for it.

Organization is also an opportunity to practice self-care. Take regular breaks during the day and set boundaries with your work hours. Let yourself celebrate small successes, and don't be too hard on yourself when things don't go as planned.

Getting organized can help prevent overtime effects and promote efficiency and success in all areas of life. So take a few moments today and plan - your future self will thank you!

Understand Your Limits

One of the most important things to remember is to listen to your body and understand when it's time to stop working.

If you feel overwhelmed or physically exhausted, it may be a sign that you should take a break. This can be anything from taking a walk around the block or going for lunch with colleagues.

It is also important to recognize when you need extra help from others, whether in terms of advice or assistance with tasks. Don't be afraid to delegate and ask for support if needed.

Finally, don't forget about non-work related activities. Rest and relaxation are essential for maintaining physical and mental health, so allow yourself enough time for hobbies and socializing.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries with work and colleagues is essential for preventing overtime effects.

When taking on new tasks or projects, ensure to understand the scope of the task and provide a realistic timeline for completion. This ensures that you remain in control of your working hours and avoid getting stuck in long-term assignments.

It is also important to stay firm on deadlines and avoid getting pulled into nonessential tasks. Explain why you can't take on more responsibility or suggest an alternative solution if needed.

Finally, never feel guilty about saying no if something doesn't fit within your schedule or capabilities - even if it means turning down a promotion!

Take Care of Your Body

Staying healthy should always be a priority. Eating right and exercising regularly will help you stay energized throughout the day and reduce stress levels.

Make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and eat meals that provide good nutrition. If possible, try to get in some physical activity during lunch or after work - even just a short walk helps!

If you feel exhausted or overwhelmed, taking a few minutes to practice meditation or deep breathing can help clear your mind and reset your mood.

Finally, getting enough sleep is essential for keeping up with overtime hours. Try to establish a routine and stick with it as much as possible.

Stay Connected

Working overtime can take its toll on relationships. Make time for friends and family members regularly, as it can help reduce stress and lift your mood.

Socializing with colleagues is also a great way to stay motivated and connected to the workplace. Set aside time for informal get-togethers or go out for lunch - even if it's just once in a while.

Remember, taking care of yourself should be your number one priority! Setting limits and boundaries at work, getting organized, understanding your own needs, and staying connected are all essential steps toward preventing overtime effects. So don't forget to make time for self-care today - you won't regret it!


Exercise is a great way to beat the effects of working overtime. It helps get rid of mental fatigue and can also boost your energy levels. Plus, it's easy to feel better during those long hours.

But don't just take our word for it – science backs up its benefits! Studies have shown that exercise reduces stress hormones like cortisol and increases endorphins, leaving you feeling more relaxed and energized after completing your workout.

Regular physical activity throughout the workweek will help prevent mental and physical burnout. This can manifest in improved concentration and memory, making staying productive while on the job easier. Exercise also boosts blood flow, increasing oxygen supply to the brain, which aids in problem-solving and decision-making.

So, if you're feeling overwhelmed, taking a break for some physical activity can help. Whether going for a walk or hitting the gym, make sure you take time out of your day to exercise. Not only will it provide immediate benefits for your mind and body, but you'll be much better off in the long run!

So next time you feel like burning the midnight oil won't end well, remember to get up and move – exercise is one of the best weapons against overtime fatigue!

WalkingPad A1 Pro by FlexiSpot

The WalkingPad A1 Pro is perfect for an office looking to take fitness breaks. It features a foldable design and multiple speed settings, making it easy to store away when not in use. With this device, your office can stay active without taking up too much space!

The A1 Pro is a great fitness tool you can use while working. Surprised? With a standing desk, such as the FlexiSpot Comhar Pro Standing Desk Q8 with dual motor adjustment, all you need to do is slide the A1 Pro underneath, and your legs can continue to work out as your mind continues to work.

The WalkingPad has a thickness of only 2.2 inches and is 32.3 inches when ready to use. This makes it convenient to fit into smaller spaces, and its super-quiet operation makes it great for use in quiet environments.

The WalkingPad A1 Pro is the perfect addition to any office looking to promote activity while still getting work done. With intelligent speed control, it automatically adjusts to your walking or running speed.

Overall, the A1 Pro is essential for any office that wants to stay active and healthy. It provides a great way to motivate your team while still getting the job done!

Final Thoughts

Working overtime can be a necessary evil, but it doesn't have to be detrimental to your well-being. With simple changes and self-care, you can survive the overtime hustle without sacrificing your health.

So before things start feeling overwhelming, remember to set boundaries at work, get organized, make time for yourself, and stay connected with those around you. And don't forget about exercise – even if it's just a few minutes each day!

Whether you're working full-time or part-time, make sure you take the necessary steps towards preventing burnout and taking care of yourself. After all, your physical and mental well-being should always come first! Good luck on your journey toward surviving overtime and finding balance in life.