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How to Avoid Being Too Connected to Your Job

By Sandy Schroeder

When we think about our jobs, sometimes it can be hard to step completely away and see the job as a separate entity. Since we often spend more time there than anywhere else, it’s not surprising that it becomes an integral part of our lives, but that may not be all good.

Taking Your Work Temp

If you take work home frequently, check your emails first thing in the morning, or late at night, and find yourself thinking about your job a lot when you are not working, you may need to rethink the connection. Taking vacations, taking an afternoon off, or just opting out for a few hours may be necessary to regain perspective.

I have always maintained loving what you do is one of the secrets to enjoying work, but not being able to mentally step away from work may be too much.

Broaden Your Scope

Psychologists suggest that we focus on all of the facets of our lives to achieve a better balance. Time with friends, weekends away with family, or new hobbies could make every part of life better.

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, PhD, says, “It’s not uncommon to become super attached to your work -- so much so that getting critiqued on something almost feels like a personal attack and takes a major hit to your ego.”

Hanks suggests we may overreact because we have linked so much of ourselves to our job, which then Impacts our sense of self-worth. Apart from our efforts on the job, many of us take care of families, work with others in the community, and play all sorts of other roles beyond the job. To get a better picture try these tips.

Grow some perspective – Talk to other people in and out of your field and find out what they do on their days off. Ask them how they avoid becoming too attached to work.

Pop in and out – Test yourself by taking time off. Plan something special with your family or friends and head on out. If you find yourself checking your emails and taking calls the whole time you are away, you have your answer. You may be too connected.

Do some self-analysis – Ask yourself when you do your best work or what you enjoy most about your job. You may find you do your best work right after you return from a day or two away. 

The people that I know who seem happiest with their work have mastered the balancing act, not too much, and not too little. They usually build escape hatches into their schedule to provide breathing room, and are wise enough to self-correct when they find they are working too much. Keep looking for that balance to enjoy just the right amount of work and play.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Spring, Tex.

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