Want to keep work from eating your entire life? Keep an eye on your daily habits. Little things can add up to unhealthy patterns that make you less productive and less happy — both at work and at home.
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1. Not Enough Noes
You must have boundaries to maintain balance in your life, at work and at home. Having boundaries means knowing when to say “no.” Different people have different limits; just because Carl is happy to work late on Friday night does not mean that you also have to be comfortable doing this.
Knowing when to say “no” is just as important as knowing when to say “yes.” Do what you can for others and to do a good job. But don’t let work requests suck you dry.
2. Too Many Shoulds
Telling yourself that you “should” (stay at work, take on an extra project, etc.) can eat into your personal life even if nobody else is making demands on your time and energy.
In Psychology Today, experts remind us that “shoulds” are not about the events themselves. “Shoulds” are about what we want to experience via the event. You want to feel that you did a great job and the project looks perfect. You may also want to impress others with how quickly you finished the project, and how you avoided any last-minute rush. If you drop the “should,” however, you may be able to relax, go home, and finish the project tomorrow.
If you are not delegating responsibilities to others who work underneath you, you may be working too much and too hard. This may negatively impact your work-life balance.
4. Always at Work
Work-life balance means doing well at work and enjoying your personal time. If you are always at work, you aren’t enjoying any personal time.
5. Never at Home
This goes hand-in-hand with “Always at Work,” but it goes a step beyond. If you leave work but seldom go home until it is time to go to sleep, there may be something at home that is out of balance. To achieve work-life balance, you must feel comfortable and safe in both places.
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