The opportunity for overtime is the perfect way to gain some extra financial help, whether as a bonus or when you’ve run into a particularly difficult month financially. Regular overtime is also a great method to form a money buffer in your savings for your future, or in the event of an emergency.
However, if the business you work for offers unlimited potential for overtime, it’s often very easy to overexert yourself and take on more hours than are necessarily good for you. Therefore, it’s important to understand how best to tackle overtime in order to gain a money bonus without sacrificing your wellbeing at the same time. Here’s how.
- Overtime Doesn’t Mean No Breaks
Working overtime doesn’t mean that you have to work continuously without stopping. It should be treated with more care than your normal working hours, which means breaks and regular stops should most definitely be implemented.
Breaks are more crucial with overtime because you are working outside the normal hours your body is used to, and it could be a shock to the system. Take the time to read a book for five minutes, browse the internet, or play online games such as taking a bet on the Powerball.
- Know When to Say No
Although it’s tempting to take on as much overtime as it is available in order to earn more money, it’s important to know when to say no. If you feel overworked or that you no longer have any personal time to yourself, then you should turn down further overtime.
It may even be the case that managers are starting to come to you first to ask for overtime needs if they notice that you’re always willing to take on more; this can lead to you accepting the work if you feel guilty for saying no. However, it’s crucial to understand when you have to turn down extra work, and know when you can comfortably say yes.
Overtime is a favor and not a contractual obligation.
- Avoid Skipping Meals
Overtime requirements may be spontaneous, such as you being asked at the end of a long shift if you can work for another few hours. If this is the case and you agree, you need to ensure you are still permitted the time needed to get a meal, especially if your overtime hours take you over your usual evening dinner. Skipping a meal altogether and working a twelve-hour shift when you only ate a small lunch or breakfast is not healthy.
If you are concerned with how you are going to find time to fit in a meal, raise your concerns with your manager, and if they are unable to accommodate, then decline the overtime.
- Consider Your Financial Situation Overall
If you’re finding that regular overtime is the only way you’re managing to pay your bills, you may need to rethink your job altogether. Working long hours over your regular work schedule shouldn’t be the only solution. Instead, consider searching for an entirely new job which provides better pay for fewer hours, to ensure that you don’t have to resort to overtime to make ends meet.