Taking regular breaks from work is essential if you want to keep the balance in your life. However, it's too tempting to keep working hard because you know it's what will eventually lead you to career success and advancement. Many of us wait until they experience a burnout before they recognize the need to take a break.

Below are some signs that tell you it's time to step away from work for a while:

1. You spend hours watching YouTube videos while you're at work.

Watching hours of cat videos or repeatedly viewing Justin Bieber music videos on your computer could mean more than just being a cat lover or an avid Bieber fan. It could mean that you are not able to focus on your work anymore. When you spend a lot of time on something else instead of your tasks or pending projects, it could be time to give yourself a break.

2. You keep making careless mistakes.

When you start caring less about your work, you inevitably make a lot of careless mistakes. You accidentally drop a coin into your cup of coffee; you send emails with lots of typos; you look blank during meetings; and you unconsciously ignore your boss inside the elevator.

3. You feel overwhelmed with so many extreme emotions.

Another sign that you're near burnout is when you easily feel angry, irritated, upset, or sad over things that you would normally just ignore. Many of us experience this kind of emotional breakdown, which is a clear sign that you should consider taking a break from work.

4. You feel tired or exhausted even in the morning.

It's normal to feel exhausted from work, but not when you haven't started your day yet! When you're overworked, there's a great chance that you're stressed out as well, and these can leave you with sleep problems. It's important that you learn how to pace yourself and save energy. And the best way to recharge is to do something you enjoy that's not related to your work.

5. You find it really hard to get out of bed and to prepare to go to work.

When you find yourself cursing your alarm clock and wishing that you can sleep more, it's a clear sign that your body is asking for some rest. The problem with being unmotivated at work is that it can have a tremendous effect on the quality of your work. And when you're performing poorly, your career may certainly suffer.

6. You can't sleep.

You'll have troubles falling asleep when you have too many things on your mind - your deadline, your proposal, the promotion, and so on. If you've been losing sleep because of your work, there's no doubt that you need to take a break. If you don't, your lack of sleep will eventually take its toll on your health.

7. You keep thinking about quitting your job without any concrete plan.

There's nothing wrong with planning to quit a job if you don't think it makes you happy anymore, but doing it without any sort of career planning is a huge mistake. You need to take some time away from work so you could have a clear understanding of what you're feeling about your work. That way, you can make a decision that will be good for you and your career.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Centre, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.