I know people who work 60 or 70 hours a week at a job they don’t care for, all to fund a lifestyle they don’t get to enjoy.
That’s complete bullshit.
At some point, it makes sense to take a step back and ask why you’re doing all this. It also makes sense to figure out if you really want your job to take over your life.
If you’re not happy about the way things are going, and you wish you had more time, take a look at what you do for work.
Do the following apply to you? There’s a good chance your job is taking over your life — and not in a good way:
- Your family begs to see you more often. Are you always gone? When little Jimmy wants you to come to the band concert and little Tiffany wishes you had seen her score a goal at her last soccer game, you know you’re missing out on your life.
- You talk about work ALL THE TIME. Do you find yourself talking about work things, even when you’re not at work? That one time this month you got to throw back a couple beers with friends, and you talk about WORK.
- You check your email “one last time” before bed. Not only that, but your “quick check” turns into 45 minutes of doing extra work because you want to “get a jump” on tomorrow.
- You’re worried you’ll get fired for not doing enough. Even though you’re working so much, you’re still worried about losing your job. You think that if you leave before someone else, you could be let go.
- Even during your breaks, you’re trying to get work done. Lunch is a time to relax and recharge for the rest of the day. If you’re working through lunch all the time, your job is taking over your life.
- The vacation days just keep adding up. Do you have a lot of vacation days you aren’t using? Most Americans don’t use their vacation days, and if you don’t, you might be missing out.
- You work on your vacation days. Maybe you take your vacation days (or at least some of them), but do work in the hotel room. Your job is taking over your life when you don’t actually manage to relax because you work even during your downtime.
- You’ve given up some of your favorite hobbies. Did you just realize you don’t have time to play tennis with your buddy? What other hobbies have you given up? If you put off the things you enjoy because of work, that’s a sure sign your job owns you.
- You’re sure the big promotion will fix all your problems. Giving up nights and weekends because you’re sure if you can get a big promotion all your problems will go away? That’s a dangerous road. The promotion won’t fix it, and you’ll still be too busy to enjoy life.
- You’re not actually getting much done at work, but you still have to be there. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you must go in to work and clock your hours, even if it’s not very productive work.
- Each time you cross something off the list, the list gets longer. The never-ending to-do list can be a big sign that work is taking over your life.
- You think about work when you should be paying attention to other things. Is work intruding in the bedroom? I’m sure bae wants you to be thinking about the TPS report and yelling out your boss’s name while you’re getting busy.
- It’s hard to enjoy the weekend because you’re already worried about Monday. Does your worry about the upcoming week ruin your weekend fun? That’s assuming, of course, you aren’t just working through the weekend.
- Your friends stop asking you to come out because they already know the answer is no. Or they know you will just cancel at the last minute.
- You want to “start living” and can hardly wait for retirement. If your plan is to “start living” in 20 years when you’re done working, your job is taking over your life.
Strive for better work-life balance.
If your job is taking over your life, it’s time to strive for better work-life balance.
Figure out what really matters to you in life. If you work so much to earn money, and you don’t actually have time to enjoy it, that’s a major red flag.
We all need money to pay the bills and, you know, EAT. But at the same time, there’s so much more to life than working and surviving. If you feel like work keeps you from having nights to yourself, or weekends to enjoy fun, it might be time to look for a new job.
On top of that, it’s hard to be happy when you are stressed at the thought of losing your job. If you feel like your survival hinges on working overtime and checking your email while on vacation, there’s a very good chance that your mental and emotional health are in a fragile state. That’s a lot of stress to deal with on a regular basis.
Even if you can’t just up and get a new job, it might be time to start looking. Think about the kind of job that will allow you to live your life today — or at least allow you some time to be with the people you love — and figure out how to get that job.