The job you do demands so much of you…

  • Putting the client first
  • Cancelling plans
  • Working weekends
  • Putting loved ones second

That’s why it is incredibly important that you work all the hours you need to in order to deliver at your highest level. And not a minute more.

I know you know this. But it’s not enough to know it at an academic level. You’ve got to hold yourself accountable to this at a practical level.

This means knowing the difference between work that is driven by the desire for a certain outcome and work that is driven by fear. The former is called working hard and it adds value to the result. The latter is called Overworking and it adds no value at all. Your goal should be to do as little of the latter as possible.

When you have Imposter Syndrome, this does not come naturally. What does come naturally, is the drive to do everything you can to compensate for feeling like you’re not enough (not clever enough, experienced enough, knowledgeable enough, articulate enough, educated enough, young enough, old enough…. ), or trying to hide from it.

That’s why you overwork. You spend hours fretting about doing the task you need to do, before you get round to doing it, which means the job takes you twice as long as it needs to. Or you spend hours labouring or excessively checking a piece of work before you are willing to say it’s done so that, once again, the job takes you longer than it needs to.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

You may not have chosen to have Imposter Syndrome, but you do get to choose what you do with it.

You can use it to beat yourself up over everything you think you’re not, and then overwork to avoid or compensate for this.

Or, you can use it to remind you of everything you are, and allow the work you produce as a result to testify to this.

Stopping overworking matters. Every second; every minute; every hour you spend doing it, is a second, minute or hour you could spend getting other stuff done so you don’t feel overwhelmed. It’s time you could spend honouring your plans, enjoying more of your weekend and putting your self care and your loved ones first.

Work hard or Overwork? You get to choose.

Stop Overworking! from Caroline Flanagan on Vimeo.