In a society that encourages being a workaholic, it’s easy to lose yourself. Working hard is good, but as with anything, balance is crucial.
If you’ve been burning the midnight oil in the office, or can’t remember when you last took time off, pause and think about if that’s the kind of life you want for yourself.
If you’re shaking your head now, know that it’s never too late.
Here’s how you can still deliver the best results at work and realize your potential without sacrificing your sanity and relationships.
Often, people set clear boundaries about how long they can stay at the office, but fail to follow them. To avoid this, make your finish time non-negotiable. For example, if your office hours are 9 am to 5 pm, be sure to leave the office by 5 pm.
Stay late only when it’s necessary.
Since your planner consists of all your things to do and appointments for the day, you can maximize it by also scheduling your time off. This way, you’re reminded when it’s time to take that necessary break even for just a moment.
The moment you get back to your tasks, you’ll feel more energized and creative, helping you to produce better results.
Unless your tasks require you to be logged into social media accounts, log out from them so you can focus on your tasks and give them the undivided attention they deserve.
If you work in an office or at home, it will help if you have a work log in tailored to have only the apps and tools you need to get your work done.
It should also be set to block social media sites so your attention and energy will be focused on the tasks at hand, helping you to finish your work faster and giving you time to relax.
Often, workaholism is associated with sleep deprivation. If you can find time to schedule a break or time off, you should also set your schedule to allow you to experience quality sleep every day, especially on workdays.
Remember: work smarter, not harder. It’s okay to go home late, but only if there is work worth sacrificing your night’s sleep for. If not, skip the overtime. Your health is far more important than the extra dollars that you’ll earn.
Your body is your ultimate guide for slowing down and hustling up. When you work too much, your body will feel lethargic and apathetic. When it does, it’s a sign that you should slow down. This way, you can avoid becoming sick and fatigued.
You won’t miss work and you won’t find yourself in a situation where you have to catch up on tasks, as this can lead you to workaholism.
Write down all the things you need to prioritize on your to-do list. On the not-to-do list, you can list everything that is less urgent, like answering emails that need not be answered right away or having chatting with co workers.
These lists will help you to keep things in line with your schedule while also reminding you of deadlines you need to meet.
No matter how intelligent and smart you think you are, multitasking is an area you want to steer clear of. Why? While it allows you to finish more tasks, the results you produce are of a lesser quality.
When that happens, you’ll end up redoing or fixing things. This means you’ll need more time for a task that you should have finished earlier on.
Are you someone who says yes to their manager, coworkers or others because you don’t want to let them down? If so, you end up spreading yourself too thinly and spending more time working when you should be resting.
Learn to say no, and prioritize yourself and your goals. If there’s extra work and you think it can help your professional development, say yes only if you believe you’re able to finish the task within the timeline given.
If not, ask for more time or just say no to avoid delivering sub-par results.
Take advantage of sites like HootSuite, which help you to automate tasks. This way, you can save your time and energy for tasks that need a more personal touch while making it look like you’re still working even when you’re not.
More importantly, you don’t end up feeling drained having to do everything manually.
While doing a job you love is important and definitely worth spending your time on, think about the reasons you do it. Aside from yourself, isn’t it because of the people you love and care about?
If so, that makes them important, too. Find a balance between the two.
A hobby can also help you to avoid driving yourself mad while working. So, think of what it is that sparks your interest—something that is not related to your job at all. It can be a sport, running, spending time outdoors or something else.
Find something you love, and use it as a way to pull yourself back from working too much.
If you see yourself as a hopeless workaholic, and you’re having a hard time not working too much, or at least regulating the amount of work you do, speak to the people you love or a professional.
Sometimes you can’t do it alone, and you’ll be better off accepting help from others. You can be career-driven without being a workaholic!
As with anything, too much time working (even if you love your job) can be detrimental to your health, relationships and personal life. Know when to say no, step back and consider what really matters in life.
What other tips do you have that will help other readers from being a workaholic? Share them in the comments!
Maine Belonio is a twenty-something mom and writer who has a penchant for coffee, long distance running, Tolkien, Switchfoot, and Jesus.
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