Did you know July 5th is Workaholic Day? Over the years, people have come to prioritize their work over their health, family time and – above all – themselves. While the sense of ‘being busy all the time’ might make you happy at first, at some point it will catch up on you. And if you’ve long skipped the happy part and it’s already affecting your mental health – and physical health – it’s time to rethink and shift your priorities.
Work is an essential part of our lives, granted. We wake up to go to work almost every day. We spend hours in front of a computer, behind a desk or at any other workplace. Some love the work they do, others the people they work with and then some others just love their office space. Work can fill in the spot of “the thing that puts the bread on the table”, but for a lot of people it’s their passion, it’s what drives them, what boosts their ego (when they’re good at it).
But what importance, then, should we give such a concept? How many hours a day should you dedicate to working and how many to yourself? At what point can you say you don’t have a work-life balance and, in fact, you’re a workaholic?
Here are some simple indicators to find out if you need to retrieve your balance.
- You answer emails while attending a social event/meeting with friends.
- You never take a day off or taking a day off makes you feel guilty.
- You only talk about work on dates or with friends.
- You eat at your desk. Lunch breaks are overrated, right?
- You keep notifications on after office hours.
- You check your emails first thing in the morning.
So you’ve been diagnosed with Workaholic Syndrome? Fear not, here are some remedies to help you put things into perspective again.
- Plan your workday (and -week) in advance so that last minute deadlines don’t add chaos to your chaos.
- Don’t EVER skip a meal and take at least 15 minutes to have lunch, put aside your phone – and you’ll see the world will survive.
- Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep. It increases productivity and creativity.
- Meditate, read, listen to music, watch TV or work out at least twice a week for an hour. You-time is much more important than work-time.
- Explore the magic of ‘turning off notifications’. There’s a reason why office hours exist and if you’re asked to do overtime ALL THE TIME, something’s not right.
- All work and no play will end up gaining you the title of ‘social recluse’. When you’re with friends or family, BE with them. It will do you more good than you can imagine.
Starting a new habit is part of the path to self-growth. And growth is linear. Imagine a linear curve and visualize a straight diagonal line shooting up: that is the ideal linear curve. The real and raw linear curve looks something like this.
You will have days when you feel pumped and go that extra mile, but some days will be gloomy and your mind will try to get you back to that original pattern. Don’t forget who’s in charge. (You if it wasn’t clear). If you’re capable enough to get your dream job, you’re just as capable to give yourself a break every now and then. Perhaps July 5th will become Healthy Work-Life Balance Day really soon?