You are never home. You complain about work when you are home. You toss and turn because work issues keep you awake. If any of this sounds familiar, your work life may be ruining your personal life. If you have trouble separating work and home life, you may face some serious circumstances.
When your wife asks if the toast is done, and you realize it has turned to black while you fret about a work issue, then you are bringing work home. Your family, and all your social connections suffer when you cannot focus on them when you are with them. You may be sacrificing exploring new relationships for your job, even missing out on your perfect match. Over the long-term, your neglect may cause you to lose people already in your life.
If you are not dealing with life and death decisions, then you should be able to leave your workplace behind when you step out the door. Try and disconnect from anything work-related, like email, texts and phone calls. Don’t bring paperwork home. Use your time at home to nurture your relationships and build social connections – the personal, not the online kind.
The Physical Toll
Coronary heart disease. High cholesterol. High blood pressure. These are just a few of the physical tolls that working too much or too hard can cause. Too many hours working may make you too tired to exercise or prepare healthy meals. Looking at a computer screen and mobile devices all day takes a toll on your eyesight, which can lead to a need for laser eye surgery. You must learn to physically separate from work, and take care of your physical self. Schedule trips to the gym just like work appointments, and then keep them. Soon, you won’t remember why you thought it was so important to be the last one out of the office.
Your Emotional Balance
Have you ever known a co-worker to come in to work horribly ill only to say, “I couldn’t ask anyone to cover. No one else can do what I do.” It is simply not true. Your work can wait, or be done by someone else. You have to accept it, or you’ll spend your life worrying about others moving in on your turf. Be the best you can be – your company hired you for a reason, understanding you would not be there 24/7. Trusting your company to see the value in you will build your own self-confidence.
If you can’t learn to appreciate the benefit you bring the office, you may start to experience anxiety and paranoia. At the very least, overworking can leave you tired and unable to focus, which can upset your emotional balance. It’s important that you commit to separating your mind from work with meditation or some other non-work activity. Even reading can help you escape from the rat race. You will feel happier and less stressed.
Your work is important, but remember, it is a means to end. While it takes full commitment from you, it should only require that commitment from 9-5, not 24/7. Your relationships, and your emotional and physical health will benefit from this balance.