Work can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling part of your life, but when passion for the work you do becomes an obsession it can be to the detriment of a healthy work/life balance.
• Can you carry on a conversation about anything other than your job?
• Is most of your time spent working or thinking about your job?
• Do you get impatient with others who prioritize things besides work?
• Do you work during meals?
• Have your family or friends stopped expecting you to arrive for events on time?
• Is work the most exciting thing in your life? More so than family, friends, or hobbies?
• Have you made numerous personal sacrifices for your job?
• Do you take work with you on weekends? Vacation? To bed?
• Do you get irritated when others ask you to stop working so you can participate in something else?
• Are the hours you spend at work negatively affecting your family and other relationships?
• Does the majority of your social life involve workplace colleagues or workplace functions?
If you find yourself answering yes to many of these questions, consider implementing some of the following strategies to regain your work-life balance:
Set a work deadline: Force yourself to stop working after a certain time, say 6 or 7, at night. That means no laptops, emails, or work phones. If you are worried about leaving things until the morning, put steps in place to allow you to step away from your inbox comfortably such as automated messages that indicate your commitment to replying within a specified timeframe.
Learn to delegate: Stop micro-managing and allow others to help. If you’re having trouble delegating tasks, start by thinking of the duties that you wouldn’t mind eliminating from your day. Delegating your least-desirable duties will allow you to focus on tasks you do love while helping you to avoid burnout.
Take your lunch break: No more lunches on the go. Reclaim your lunch hour and have a nutritious meal that gives you the energy to tackle your workday. Sit down and allow yourself to decompress. Lunch can be the perfect midday reset to a busy day. Don’t read or focus on work. Allow yourself the time to clear your mind so that you can return to work rested and more focused.
Sleep: It is important to put in the necessary hours in order to get your work accomplished, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by forgoing sleep to do so. Sleep improves memory, sharpens attention, and lowers stress while a lack of sleep can have negative effects on your decision-making capabilities. Don’t let working too hard prevent you from getting the sleep you need to remain productive.
Stay Social: Revisit the hobbies and activities that bring you joy outside of work. Hobbies can act as a great stress reliever while broadening yourself to new experiences and expertise. Not only will you become a more well rounded person by participating in hobbies, you can also experience the physical benefits of lowered blood pressure, lower cortisol levels and even lower body mass index. By being active in your time away from work you can feel as though you’re using your time productively and not just “sitting around”. Give yourself permission to make the time to engage in your favorite hobby and break with a purpose.
If you find yourself struggling to maintain work/life balance or need support to implement any of the above strategies seek the assistance of a coach who can help you gain clarity and provide the accountability you need to stay the course.