Once upon a time, I believed that hard work, dedication and perseverance would lead me to “success”. I literally worked day and night. It was like a non-stop marathon, with short breaks in between. Sometimes I worked till 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning, just to clear things on time. I probably annoyed my friends when I pulled out my laptop in the middle of dinner or a short girls’ trip somewhere out of town. I was rarely home for dinner. When I went on vacations by myself, I would spend half the day working, the other half exploring. I even brought my laptop to the beach once and ended up doing something “very urgent.”
When I was not working, I’d worry about all the things that I needed to do. I never had any peace of mind. Work was my life and I thought I was on the right path. It somehow made me feel important and it took losing my loved ones for me to finally realise I was throwing my life away. If you can relate, it’s time to stop putting your job first and start finding a balance because life really is short. Here’s how to stop working to the point of madness and start living:
Understand that work will never end
Someone once told me, “Work is a never-ending process, so make sure you spend time with your loved ones.” The company will not go bankrupt if you don’t work until the wee hours of the morning. No matter how much work you accomplish, more will come.
Do what you can for the day and leave the rest
There’s nothing wrong with being hard-working, but you need to learn to set some boundaries. For example, unless you have a big campaign launching around the corner, don’t make it a habit to bite off more than you can chew. Set a daily limit and continue the rest later.
Don’t be embarrassed or afraid to ask for help
I had too much on my plate and no matter how much time I spent on work, it just wasn’t enough. I literally felt like I was drowning. Try asking your colleagues for some assistance. Talk to your boss if you need extra help. If that doesn’t work, you might need to put your foot down and demand for it.
Have a detailed to-do list
Include the date you received the job request and the deadline so it’s easier for you to determine which task you need to tackle first. Get the urgent ones out of the way. Try to gage how much time you need to complete each task and don’t over-promise or over-deliver.
Make time for your family and friends
Stop telling people you’re too tired or too busy. Never prioritise your career over your loved ones. You don’t have to see them every day, but at least try to have a balance between work and family. Catch up with your friends once in a while.
Don’t forget to have some ‘me time’ every day
It’s important for you to get proper rest if you want to be productive and stay healthy. Do the things that make you happy to recharge. Watch your favourite TV shows or read a book. Go for a swim or hit the gym on weekends.
Working to the point of madness is not worth it. Take care of yourself first and never let your personal life take a backseat. You will regret it a few years down the road!
Danila was a magazine writer focused on lifestyle topics and a communications specialist in the telecommunications industry where her work was published or broadcast via several offline and online media channels before shifting to freelance writing. Besides writing, she enjoys travel, taking photos, and reading.