Success can be measured by your job title, size of your paycheck, and even popularity; ultimately, success is in the eye of the beholder. The amount of devotion and passion we spend on our careers creates a path to be shared with many others, but created all alone.
Workaholics share the drive to succeed, but what are they willing to sacrifice along the way? Does success justify letting go of everything else we used to consider important? It’s just for a little while, right? Or is it possible to find a balance?
Perhaps balance is too optimistic. What if the problem is tackled from another angle? What if avoiding being a workaholic, but achieving the same success was about setting boundaries?
Setting Boundaries to Avoid Being a Workaholic
“Time for life” Boundary
Working 60+ hours a week isn’t going to leave much time for a home life, especially if you’re married and have children. If you’re new to the job, be careful about dedicating 60+ hours a week from the start. Setting boundaries around your availability will set clear expectations as to when you are and are not available.
A good example is how children view the concept of time. If you haven’t seen your children for a long time, they don’t want a toy to make up for it, they want your time. Quality time, not quantity, makes more of an impact than anything else. Designate time for what matters most – the relationships you have outside of the workplace – but also remember that if you put in quality time at work then you won’t have to put in 60+ hours a week.
Have you seen the sun lately? Is the sky black or blue? Enjoying the world outside of the office can stimulate the brain and body and actually increase your motivation. The Psychologist Manager Journal published in 2008 says “workaholism can ultimately cause employees to experience less job satisfaction than coworkers who maintained a better work-life balance.” Set some boundaries that allow for some vitamin D, via the sun and not your multivitamin.
We all may not be masters of meditation, but working to quiet the mind and shut out the temptation of “office thought” can actually help release stress and increase your creative thinking. Focusing our attention on “me” time within the framework of our thoughts, instead of what is waiting for you at the office is no doubt a challenge, but one that will pay off in the long-run. Consider your “me” time as a bank account. The more deposits you make, the better your return on investment.
Working hard is a financial necessity for most people, so it’s understandable when the priorities become unbalanced. Enforcing boundaries to achieve success in a well-rounded life both in and out of the office can set clear expectations for everyone and allow you to decrease stress and be more successful overall.
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