Is Guilt Taking a Toll on Your Work?

Striving for maximum productivity is a noteworthy professional goal; however, if you take it too far, you may actually end up always feeling like you are falling short. This can lead to a pervasive sense of guilt that you aren’t accomplishing enough – and rather than motivate you, actually end up sabotaging your success. Learn more about the indicators that guilt may be taking a toll on your work and the actions you can take to overcome it: 

You Don’t Take Breaks Throughout the Day 

If you find yourself sitting at your workspace for hours at a time or eating your lunch while working (or worse, skipping meal time altogether) because you think you need to work harder and longer, this is an indicator that guilt has become detrimental. Taking breaks is not something you earn the right to do, it is truly necessary for you to have the physical and mental stamina to perform at your best. Make it a priority to take an intentional lunch break away from your desk, and to schedule in short, consistent breaks throughout the day – even five minutes to breathe and look away from your screen can leave you refreshed.  

You Refuse to Ask Others for Help 

A common but flawed mindset is that if you have enough determination and are willing to work hard, you can do it all on your own. However, if you refuse to ask others for help, whether it’s delegating a task or asking for a favor, you will likely struggle with feeling inadequate and dissatisfied with your results. When there is an opportunity for collaboration or for you to get something off your plate, reach out for support and you will likely find you are more productive and happier.  

You Compare Yourself to Everyone Else 

Whether it’s a colleague at work or a professional acquaintance on social media, it may be tempting to look at their accomplishments and decide you are not measuring up. Comparing yourself to everyone else can make you feel guilty about not being as effortlessly productive as they seem to be. In order to counteract this self-induced comparison guilt, you need to remind yourself of two key points whenever feelings of inferiority begin to set in:  

  1. Everyone has different circumstances so it’s not necessarily a fair comparison anyway  
  1. Your preconceived notion of others may not even be accurate and they very likely also struggle with self-doubt issues.

You Don’t Use Your Vacation Time 

Even if your employer offers a generous amount of paid time off, do you not feel comfortable actually taking time off for a true vacation? Whether it’s because you think it would make you look uncommitted to your job or that you don’t want to inconvenience anyone else or fall behind, not using your vacation time is counterproductive. By establishing work-life balance, you will likely return with a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm and be better off than if you always stayed in the office.  

You Don’t Have Realistic Expectations 

When you are reflecting on your productivity and overall professional performance and feeling a sense of guilt, it is likely a result of the pressure you put on yourself. Ensure you are setting realistic expectations about what you have time and mental bandwidth to handle.  Then, make it a point at the end of each day to focus on what you have accomplished. Remind yourself of what you have gotten done, rather than only ruminating over what you have left to do.  

Take the Next Step in Your Career 

International Financial Group is an accounting and finance job placement agency working with employers throughout the United States and Canada. Our mission is to assist candidates in finding the opportunities that are best fit for their skills and professional goals. Contact us today to speak with one of our recruiting experts.