I do not envy people who insist on referring to themselves as “workaholics.” That sounds miserable. Bragging about being sooooo busy with your job and all of the countless responsibilities you have does not make me want your life. In fact, it makes me feel sorry for you. Workaholics rarely enjoy their time off because they are constantly thinking about work. That’s no way to live, people!
I’m not knocking highly motivated people or folks who really enjoy their job and don’t mind spending extra time at work. I really like my job at Roundpeg, but I also enjoy going to the Broad Ripple Farmer’s Market, going out to lunch and spending time with my friends and family. When do I do all of those fun activities? On the weekend, when I’m not working.
Workaholics can cure their addiction and following these steps will help them do it.
Put the Phone Down
Cell phones have turned us into monsters. We are constantly staring at them and rely heavily on them for just about everything, especially work. You are a workaholic if your phone is glued to the inside of your hand and the screen is two inches away from your face at all times. Enough! Work emails can wait. Don’t be the person sitting in a restaurant with a group of people ignoring everyone because you are too busy on the phone. You do not have to respond to emails the minute you receive them.
Unless you are an emergency room physician, no one is going to die because you took a few hours to respond. A good rule of thumb is to respond within four (business) hours to an email or phone call. Oh, someone emailed you over the weekend? Respond on Monday. Go out and have a life and leave your phone somewhere far away from you. If you absolutely cannot part with your phone, try just turning it off for a few hours.
Take a Break
Workaholics just work, work, work like little worker bees, but that’s probably causing them a lot of stress. Sometimes you just need to step back and take a five minute break away from your desk. Do not use this as an opportunity to work from your phone or tablet. Just walk away from your work station and take a lap around the office or go outside for a stroll if you can. Take a few deep breaths while you’re at it. Just step away from your overwhelming responsibilities and chill out. I would also suggest watching this silly cat video.
When You Leave Work, You’re Done With Work
When five or six o’clock rolls around and you’re on your way home you are no longer obligated to worry about work. I am giving you permission to not respond to emails or phone calls after six o’clock. You will be able to contact them tomorrow. Enjoy the hours you have away from the office. If you can’t resist the urge to keep working, get out of your house. Sit outside or go to a coffee shop. Enjoy your time away from the office and relax. Besides a change of scenery can really help you channel your creativity.
Now that you’re prepared to wind down a bit, how about spending your new-found free time building your network? Check out our interactive guide to networking and get yourself out in the crowd: