3 Questions to ask before you take that work home10:44 PM
They've been labeled 'workaholic' , 'absentee at home' .. they practically 'carry the office on their head'. These are today's workers. Millennials have a more 'take charge' attitude; it's this doggedness that makes them want to finish that next draft...serve the late guest..and the list goes on.
One important skill that helps shape our lives would be the ability to effectively manage our work and family life dynamic.
1. What are your daily habits?
Paying close attention to your day-to-day habits will open your eyes to how much work-related activities w bring home...usually a lot more than we realize.
For a week, track your work-related activities
- Do you check your phone at the dinner table for messages from colleagues?
- Do you keep your laptop on the bedroom nightstand so you can get a head start on the next day?
- Do you check your work email right before bed and/or first thing in the morning?
Any time you spend talking or even thinking about work will only make you restless, less productive at work and could lead to something considerably worse...a strained relationship at home( this could be with your kids,..missing dance rehearsals..or with your wife/girlfriend,..missing dates, lower attention span etc).
2. Why are you doing it?
Being available before and after the standard workday might be a requirement for your job (e.g. CEOs, support technicians, healthcare personnel). However, in most cases, the extra duty is not necessary but driven by pride/ the need to be seen as an overachiever or fear of being out-bested by other 'dedicated' colleagues.
The habit of working outside business hours influences others to pick up similar work patterns. This results in round-the clock work becoming the norm in the work place.
Although a strong work ethic and dedication to the job are positives in career building, working round-the-clock results in burnt-out employees which results in more sick calls, less productivity and greater costs to the company. Any manager would prefer healthy and efficient employees to stressed-out individuals who are more prone to errors.
3. What’s your top priority?
There are people who see work as its own inherent reward. However, most of us would like to have it all; success both at home and at work. In order to achieve balance between having a satisfying personal life and a rewarding career, it is important to prioritize appropriately depending on life changes (e.g. having a family, age) and career goals such as promotions.
Being career-driven comes with the risk of your job overshadowing personal aspects of your life. For you, work becomes life and your satisfaction is derived from career success. In such instances, it is imperative to take real (no laptops allowed) vacations when possible to prevent burnout.
Making changes to clarify boundaries between work and home is difficult and could involve periods of boredom and guilt. Take little steps first such as making a rule to not check emails after 7 p.m. Discuss these changes with your boss making sure to emphasize the reason behind them is to boost your productivity and effectiveness.
If necessary, provide contact information, such as your personal mobile phone number, in event of crisis at work. However, make sure the people with access to such information know that its is for emergencies and not a broken photocopier.Ideally, protecting your time off in a sensible way will help you not only start enjoying downtime more but also start having more fun at work. Before long, you might even find that your career and personal life begin to nourish each other, rather than just competing for your time.