6 Very Easy Ways to Stop Being a Workaholic
Did the janitor give you his keys so you can lock up after he goes home? Do you dream in spread sheets? Have you missed your kid scoring the game-winning goal because you were checking email on your phone?
Then, congratulations -- you may be a workaholic.
If you want to stop being one, there’s good news. You don’t have to work as hard getting out of that vicious cycle as you do once you’re in it. Here are some helpful tips on how you can avoid being a workaholic:
ADMIT YOU HAVE A PROBLEM
Yes, you need to come to grips with the fact your job is consuming you. If you can’t admit this, then it’s going to be impossible to move forward. If you’re not sure, ask your family or friends. If you have no family or friends to ask, well, that probably means you’ve worked to the point they’ve disappeared from your lives, which means you are definitely a workaholic. The bottom line: the sooner you can admit you log too many hours on the job, the sooner you can develop a plan to put an end to it.
This is also good advice for people who are stressed on the job. If you can clear the work clutter, time will become more manageable and you won’t feel the need to do so much. You should schedule the most important things at work, but also make sure to schedule time to be with family and friends and other activities that you enjoy. Once you see what needs to be done, everything appears more manageable.
DON'T BE FOCUSED SOLELY ON GETTING THINGS DONE
It’s good to take pride in what you do, but don’t be defined by that. Spend some time on your other interests, as well. This will make you more well-rounded and more relaxed, which can actually help you do your job better. When your life revolves around work, you have no outlet to decompress and run the risk of burning out, which will inhibit your ability to perform your job effectively. And wouldn't it be ironic if you ended up losing your job because you worked too much?
DON'T MAKE YOUR JOB YOUR LIFE
Ultimately, most people have jobs to pay for things. If you have a job that you’re so invested in, but can’t take time to eat dinner with your family, then something is seriously wrong. We hate to burst your bubble, but working 18 hours a day only makes things worse. There's a whole other world out there beyond your job, so you should embrace it. Talk to your kids about their day, ask your significant other how his or her day was, enjoy a nice meal where you catch up. You'll be pleased to discover how these simple acts can help you break the workaholic rut.
DON'T CHECK EMAIL
This is a big one. Smartphones are wonderful, but they’ve also made it way too easy to keep working when we’re not at work. It's like technology made things better, but also worse. Tell your co-workers you will not check email after a specific time to give you a chance to step away. Your eyes and fingers will thank you for it. Pretty soon, you might even feel liberated knowing that you don’t have to check in with work.
It’s easy to say you won’t do work when you’re not at work, but the temptation may be great if you just go home with no plan. Before you know it, you could find yourself trying to get a jump on tomorrow's responsibilities today and the next thing you know it's 3 a.m. and you're studying spreadsheets. If you go for a hike, take a class or even just catch a movie, you’ll be keeping yourself busy with non-work matters. And that’s a good thing.