Career Woman

Are you in denial about your work habits


Without a doubt, there is a tendency in modern society to see working extremely hard as a virtue. You’ll hear it over and over during election campaigns, for example; endless references to “hard working people” and “hard working families” – as if that’s the only good way of being. There’s also a tendency for us all to talk about how very busy we are, to the point where it would almost feel like a social faux pas to say you’ve done nothing but relax with your day. Stress is almost seen as a good thing, a side effect of being that hard working woman we’re all meant to be, rather than the very genuine threat to our health that it is.

The thing is, we as humans have a remarkable ability to pretend that these things don’t apply to us. We decide as an individual, that we’re fine, that our work-life balance is right where it should be, and our mental health isn’t suffering for the hours that we’re giving to our career. Maybe this is something you have been guilty of; deciding that everything is fine just because you think it should be. You need to work to live, after all, and what’s wrong with putting in the hours if it’s going to get you where you need to be?

However, no matter how much you try to convince yourself that you’re fine, there might be little signs of slippage which suggest you’re really not. They’re only small, but they can be an important heads up, but the signs of a workaholic or someone who has not got their life quite as balanced as they thought, have a tendency of pushing through regardless.

You find holidays uncomfortable

Time away from work should be a good thing, a vital tool that allows you to destress. If you find that you actually struggle to just do nothing for awhile and relax, then it’s your body effectively in withdrawal from the adrenaline that usually keeps you going.

You never stick to a schedule

Have you ever made a schedule for your work day that will guarantee you get out on time? If you have, that’s perhaps a first indicator that a voice in the back of your mind knows that your work habits aren’t healthy. If you’ve made such a schedule and then not been able to stick to it, then that’s even worse.

You don’t trust others

There are times in any career when you will need to delegate to succeed. Do you find that you struggle to hand over tasks to others, even though you objectively know they are perfectly capable of completing those tasks? This can be a sign that your habits have moved from being normal diligence one should afford their job, and crossed the line into control freak territory.

Your work habits have become a family joke

Underlying problems often come to the surface by manner of amusement. For example, a member of your family might express a doubt you will be able to attend a family function: “after all,” they will laugh, “she’s always got too much work on!”. It sounds like a lighthearted rebuff that is just descriptive of your personality, but there could be a concern underneath and amusement is the only way they know how to manifest it.

You think of work in bed

The idea of being exhausted all day and then not being able to sleep at night because your brain is whirring is a trope, but it’s a trope because it genuinely can happen. If you find your work life is invading your private thoughts, when you should be drifting off into a restorative slumber, then you have probably gone too far with your commitment to your job.

You’re proud of how much you work

Finally, pride in your work habits could actually be a sign that there’s something wrong with those habits.

There’s a big difference between being proud of what you do and what you have accomplished and just being proud because you spend hours chained to your desk. If you stay three hours over from your scheduled finish time and feel a sense of accomplishment for having done so, that’s not particularly rational – you’re celebrating being over-burdened. A more healthy way to respond would be to be annoyed at having to stay late; you still do it, but you don’t feel there’s an inherent achievement in just putting more hours in for the sake of it.

If you recognize any of the above, then you have all the power you need to change your attitude to work. Remember, you should work to live, not live to work – so take a break every once in awhile and leave the work behind when you leave the office, too.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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