What do you do when you feel your life is your job and you only live to work?
I was speaking with a gentleman recently that was expressing difficulty, not only at work, but in his life. He did not see how he would ever catch up and move ahead at work to the point where he did not have to spend most of his waking hours at the office and away from his family.
Even when he was at home on the weekends he would spend much of his time working on office things. He is really concerned about how his life is going and when he thinks about it too much he feels sick.
What is interesting is that he loves what he does and would not change his career for anything. He just wants to find balance.
It sounds as though he may be at the beginning of “burnout.”
The common symptoms of burnout are:
- Poor work production
- Spending more time at work or doing work than being at home.
- Feeling sick over what needs to be accomplished at work.
- Relationships are suffering.
If you are feeling some of these same symptoms there are a few things you can do for yourself to try to get back on the right track.
- Rest – Get plenty of sleep and as hard as it will be rest, read a book, watch a movie or sit in a hot tub or jacuzzi.
- Exercise – Exercise releases Dopamine, a chemical that plays a role in happiness and is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness. Make sure the exercise that you pick to do is something fun and enjoyable or you will not keep it up. It does not need to be strenuous or for long periods of time, taking the dog for a 30 minute walk works great. You are doing something for yourself and it will feel great.
- Learn to say no – This can be difficult when it comes to work tasks. Talk to your employer about realistic goals and workload. Employees who are not overworked are much more productive when they are at work.
- Balance – Lear to protect your private life and make sure you give it as much time as you do work. It is having that balance that helps bring peace and order into our lives. We can think clearer and enjoy life better than before.
If you feel you are way in over your head seek a professional for help because life is just too short to miss out on most of it because you are working.