I feel like the word ‘workahoic’ has mixed interpretations. On one hand, it’s great to be a successful, ambitious and driven individual, but it’s *not* good to be a cranky, stressed, exhausted mess of a person.
Not that you need studies to tell you about the harmful effects overworking has on your health, happiness and personal life… but if you need them, they’re out there. But what good is awareness of a problem if we don’t talk about solutions. So here are 5 tip to help you find and maintain a healthy work/life balance and avoid becoming a ‘workaholic’.
1- SET BOUNDARIES
One of the most important things to avoid becoming a workaholic is to set some clear boundaries. Do you best to stick to a set schedule. Know when you can and cannot work. Make sure you don’t regularly stay at the office too late. And if you work from home, make sure to still set a schedule. I know all too well how easy it is to literally almost work every hour of the day when you work for yourself. O
Obviously you can divert from this schedule when necessary. But that those circumstances that pop up be the exception, not the norm. After all, business 24/7 shouldn’t be business at usual.
2- MAKE TIME FOR YOUR FRIENDS & LOVED ONES
It’s so easy to put your friends and loved ones on the back burner and neglect those relationships. But those relationships are extremely important for good mental and physical health. Make these people and relationships a priority. Whether it’s dinner with the family, your kids baseball game or dance recital, wine with your girlfriends or buddies, or an evening with your significant other – schedule in dates just as you would business meetings. For years I dated someone who didn’t once make me a priority. It was work work work all the time, so I’d just work work work along with him (even on his stuff) just to try to spend time with him. Guess what, it was heartbreaking, and wildly unrewarding… and we’re not together anyone. Give QT to your cutie.
3- GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Exhaustion isn’t a bragging right or a sign of ambition, it’s a sign of chaos! Let me repeat this again: exhaustion isn’t a bragging right or a sign of ambition, it’s a sign of chaos. If you want to be productive at work, and get more work done in less time – then you need to sleep, dammit. Schedule it in. It’s important to get around 7 hours of sleep a night.
4- FIND A HOBBY
Make sure work isn’t the only thing you have consuming your time. So find a hobby or activity that isn’t work related and brings you joy. Travel, exercise, wood working, sewing… bla bla bla. Just find something that you dig. It will not only serve as a stress reducer, but it will also provide something to breakup what could otherwise be a mundane routine. Spice it up!
5- SPEND TIME IN NATURE
There are countless benefits to spending time in nature (and countless studies to prove it). Even small doses of nature throughout the week can help improve short term memory, enhance creativity, decrease depression, etc. etc. So put down the computer/phone and get the hell outside!