Do you work while on vacation?
Do you check emails on your phone at dinner?
Do you squeeze in one last phone call before leaving the office?
If you’re in an unhealthy addictive relationship with work, you’re far from alone; so many of us now are working such long hours that it’s hard to know what’s even normal.
Working hard is a good thing–up to a point. Overwork doesn’t help your productivity, and it’s harmful to you. It’s time to learn how to get back in balance. Here are some pointers.
1. Learn to shut it down. Make a pact with yourself that you will not work past a certain time, and honor that time to shut everything down. Learn to walk away.
2. Give yourself a break. Learn to give yourself breaks during the workday, even if they’re small ones. Go out for lunch instead of eating at your desk. Take a short walk around the office or a quick trip to a nearby park–anything that changes the scenery. Even 10 minutes away can make a world of difference.
3. Change your mindset. You may be among the many people who believe that long hours demonstrate your great work ethic and that those who take breaks (or spend evenings, weekends, and vacations disconnected) are lazy or less committed. But that way of thinking is both inaccurate and unhealthy, so push back when you catch yourself giving in to it. Remember, what you think is what you are.
4. Treat it seriously. When you are consumed with work and act as if your life were dependent on your job, you’re likely damaging your health and relationships. You need to take change seriously. If need be, consider getting help to learn better skills for balancing your life.
5. Don’t bring it home. The hardest test of all! When you go home, make a point of turning off your phone and disconnecting from your email. Instead, take time for friends and family. It’s time to be the person who just might be unavailable to work for a while–and unless you’re literally saving lives with your job, that’s OK.
6. Meditate on it. More than most people, workaholics need to learn to turn off their thinking mind. The practice of meditation is a great way to make that happen. Take some time every day and consciously slow down, breathe, relax, rest your mind, and feed your heart.
7. Set healthy boundaries. Many people who are prone to chronic overwork also have trouble setting and maintaining boundaries. As a starting point, make a work schedule and commit to it. If you need to include some late evening or weekend hours, that’s fine–but do it intentionally, based on schedules and patterns, not just because you’re already there and you haven’t yet dropped from exhaustion.
Being a workaholic doesn’t benefit anyone–not you, not your team, not your organization, not the world.
You’ll be much more effective–not to mention happier–with adequate rest, sleep, breaks, and time to cultivate relationships and interests outside of work. Self-care keeps you on top of your game and in the game.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
THE LEADERSHIP GAP
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.