Friday, March 11, 2016

How to Prevent Your Job from Taking Over Your Life

Striking the work-life balance is probably the most hectic thing anyone has to do, even though we don’t realize it. Many people find themselves spending more time on their jobs and boss’ expectations, such that everything else in their lives take the back seat. More often than not, we stretch ourselves to the limit to please our bosses and secure our positions. That can become a problem in terms of how your boss views your ability, your personal space and time, and other aspects of your life. Here are five ways to prevent your work from taking over your life. 


  Avoid stretching yourself too thin from the beginning: This is very tricky because many of us aim to please as much as we can during the first few months at a new job. We tend to go over and beyond our job description to secure our place and impress everyone in charge. While this may create a positive perception of your work ethic, it may also give your bosses the impression that you like to tie up the loose ends when others choose to be complacent. This means you will be given all the jobs others fail to do. Yes, your bosses will appreciate you, but you will lose valuable time fixing the laziness of others.

· Avoid responding to questionably-timed emails: Have you ever jumped out of bed to respond to an email your boss sent at 2:00 am? I have! I did for about six months, giving my boss the impression that my sleep was unimportant to me, and I was willing to sacrifice it for work. I don’t need to tell you I was burnt out by the end of six months and in desperate need of a holiday. If you have been jumping out of bed to respond to emails in the wee hours of the morning or ridiculously late hours of the night, stop it now. You get paid to work during work hours; your sleep hours are yours to enjoy. These days, if I get an email when every other person is sleeping, I turn my back and continue sleeping. It can wait till morning.

· Make your stance on non-working hours known behaviourally: Are you spending your weekends fixing your boss’ inputs, working on his/her suggestions, or tying up loose ends that can wait till the next working day? Stop it! Make your stance known by avoiding responding to emails on weekends. Except your job description dictates that your attention is required on weekends, don’t address work calls or messages during the weekend. Like your sleep hours, your weekends are for you to enjoy. Spend them with your family, friends and most importantly, yourself

· Avoid skipping your entitled leave days: So many people skip out on taking leave because they are swamped. They are so dedicated to their jobs, that they forget leave days are designed so you can rest, reboot and regain your mental and physical strength. Your leave days also give you time to be with your family, connect with your friends, and catch up on life in general. Avoid skipping your leave days. There is a reason your job contract says you are entitled to them. 

Avoid staying overtime: I see it every single day; many people stay overtime at work to finish what they can deal with the next day. This is very common amongst single people who live alone, and I’ve noticed many married individuals tend to spend a lot of hours after closing at work. If you’ve been doing this, stop it now! If you are single, close at the normal time except there’s an emergency, go home, take a shower, go out with friends, or even go out to dinner on your own! But do not live your entire life in an office chair. Same goes for married individuals. Close at the normal time, and go home to your family! Go home and see how everyone is after hours, listen to what they discuss and join in, take your spouse out on a date, enjoy time with your family. 

Surely, work is an important aspect of our lives but we must always remember it is not the only aspect we must keep alive. XOXO

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