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Signs You Could Be Letting Work Take Over Your Life

Letting work take over your life is something I’m sure many of us have dealt with in the past. If we’re not careful the line between work and personal life can easily become blurred. Whether you work for a company, freelance or are self-employed it doesn’t change the fact that we all want to perform our best at work. Finding a healthy work-life balance can be difficult to achieve. We can spend a lifetime dedicated to working but be finding ourselves dissatisfied along the way. Here are some signs you could be letting work take over your life.

1. There are a lack of boundaries

As with anything, when you spend a prolonged amount of time doing something there is a risk of it becoming your identity. Work is no different. Therefore, you must learn ways to separate yourself from your work. Having the ability to see it as something you do, rather than who you are is vital. When you finish up work for the day, allocate some time to do something for yourself and allow your mind to switch off. (Although granted that is easier said than done)

Further reading: Tips For Creating Meaningful Downtime

2. Everything feels urgent

If you are feeling constant pressure to get sh*t done and like everything is a priority. It might be time to re-evaluate. It could be that the deadlines you have to work to are fixed and that’s totally fine. But if these are self-imposed deadlines it might be that you are putting added pressure on yourself unnecessarily. You don’t need to be the person that does the most to be seen or feel worthy. I know many people whose motto is that can wait until tomorrow and while I don’t think that’s always the answer I’m sure these people don’t have a hard time falling asleep at night!

3. You prioritise the needs of others

Generally, it seems the harder someone works the more praise we have for them. But why is this? When we surrender to working so much we lose a bit more of ourselves in the process. It might be that you come from a family of high expectations and you feel a certain level of pressure to be successful. In the long run, all this does is moves you further away from yourself. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do people proud but remember it is your life you are living. You don’t want to spend your life in a career you don’t enjoy for the sake of someone else. So take some time to reflect and realign yourself as your number one priority. And know that what you are doing isn’t for anyone but yourself.

4. It’s all-encompassing

You eat sleep and breathe work. You find it hard to switch off and struggle to have a conversation about anything other than work. When you are passionate about your work it can completely consume you, but that’s not healthy. Given I work and live in the same proximity it is increasingly tempting to work beyond my contracted hours. One last email turns into two, and then another hour has gone by before I know it. Work can feel like a never-ending list of tasks of which each day you marginally scratch the surface. And so each day becomes the same repetitive cycle. If you find your work to be too much, you should communicate this to your boss and delegate the work out to others if you can. And if you are your own boss, try to be stricter with the hours that you work and schedule your time in a more efficient way.

5. The enjoyment has faded

If your work has become something you don’t enjoy it can induce a lot of stress and anxiety. We spend such a large quantity of our lives working so its important that your work has meaning and you are working on a cause that’s close to your heart. Otherwise, you can be left feeling like you have been spending your life as a slave to the system. Of course, everyone has bills to pay and financial obligations which require us to work. But it shouldn’t be something that you dread waking up for in the morning because life is too short.

You are so much more than the work you do. We weren’t put on this earth just to work until the day we die. A job should be fun, thrilling, rewarding (maybe not all at once) but indeed something that adds to your life rather than takes away from it. If it’s not, it might be time to think about looking for a new job or something else that you might enjoy doing. At the end of the day, your job should be bringing out the best in you.

Have you ever felt like you are letting work take over your life? If so how have you got around it?

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6 thoughts on “Signs You Could Be Letting Work Take Over Your Life

  1. I have a huge problem with #3, though that’s not a work thing. I guess I just put others’ needs before mine in general. Will need to work on that. Thanks for this post!

  2. Work has all encompassed my life – but since I have just started my own business – I can’t really complain. But I WANT TO GO ON A VACATION – like your user name – my VACATION IS PENDING 🙁

    1. Having your own business is such an accomplishment, I can only imagine how much time that takes up! It’s so hard to take time out and switch off and everyone needs a holiday more than ever right now!

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