Putting energy into your career is a good thing, but only to a point. Spending too much time on work every week can make it hard to enjoy the rest of your life. This article describes several signs that your work-life balance is becoming skewed.
Treating Every Task as Urgent
Whether you’re new to a company or have spent years climbing up its ladder, it’s easy to feel pressured to treat every task as urgent. However, not every task needs to be completed immediately, and in some cases, that goal may be impossible anyway. Identity what’s truly important and what can wait or be re-assigned to someone with less on their plate.
Many people, under stress from deadlines or other pressure, work during hours they’d normally be asleep. This may seem like a good idea in the short term, but countless sources, such as the Harvard Medical School, have noted that getting too little sleep directly affects performance, concentration, and even safety. One measure to help fight this is setting a daily cutoff time, after which you don’t check email or work on projects, and instead focus on resting.
Not Having Buffer Time
Especially at a job where deadlines are important, having some buffer time around projects is critical. Your schedule may look very doable on one day and then impossible the next, should an unexpected task or delay come up. To counteract this and preserve your sanity, build buffer days into every project you take on. Those will give you time to handle unexpected obstacles.
Not Adjusting for Life Events
Work is just one part of your life, and your approach to it may need to change as the rest of your life changes. Whether it’s a relatively small event like picking up a new hobby or a huge one like having a child, be realistic in how much time you’ll be able to put into work during and after the life shift.