Are You a Workaholic?

Over the last few decades, you have probably heard more and more about establishing a work-life balance. Unfortunately, that balance can be difficult to establish in practice. Many people are so burdened with financial challenges or concerns about their families that they think they have to work harder than ever before. These are signs that you may be placing too much emphasis on work and not enough on living.

Your Thoughts Are Consumed With Work

The minute you walk out of your office, you should start thinking about living, not work. You shouldn’t be thinking about all the tasks you still need to do, how you will prepare for the next day or week or what duties you can do from home. If you are still thinking about work when you leave the office, you may be too focused on work.

This is a challenging habit to break. It requires that you recognize your thoughts and forcibly push them out of your mind. Before you leave work, make a list of where you are in your projects and what still needs to be accomplished. Write any notes that will help you get started on your next workday. Then, leave everything else at the office. Find hobbies that draw your mind away, and when you are with your family, focus on them and your activities with them.

You are “Always Available”

Many people keep their phones on and stay available for their managers, clients, or employees to call at any time. This prevents you from achieving balance. It can also affect your relationships because you allow consistent interruptions. To prevent this tendency, you may have to implement a policy at work that when you leave, you are unavailable or you only check your messages at specific points during your off-hours. This will allow you to focus your attention on life when you are done with work.

You Have Extended Work Hours

Are you the first person in the office and the last to leave? These work hours used to suggest an exceptional work ethic. Today, it suggests a lack of work-life balance. This is especially true if you take work home. Did you know that overworking your brain actually adversely affects your productivity? In fact, those who take breaks and time off have higher productivity than workaholics. Studies are showing that if you work in 25-minute blocks, taking short breaks in between, and working fewer hours actually increase your productivity.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that more availability and time at work means greater productivity. Pursue a work-life balance and watch your health, relationships, and productivity improve.