Married to Your Work? How to Regain Control

Many people feel that they have lost control over their lives. They spend all their time at work and simply don’t find themselves capable of enjoying anything anymore. For Charles Phillips, whose work was his mistress for many years, it is important for people to regain control. Without being happy, people can’t perform properly at work anymore either, which leads to a drop in productivity. He has written a number of tips to help people see the possible damage they are doing by working too hard, and how to stop that pattern.

The Cost of Being Married to the Job

If you don’t have a good work life balance, then:

  1. You will experience fatigue. Tired people can’t work as hard and make many mistakes. This can destroy a company, and your personal reputation.
  2. Your health will deteriorate, which may lead to time off work as well. And that time off work won’t be enjoyable, since you will be sick.
  3. You will miss important time with the people who matter to you. Your child’s first steps, your daughter’s dance recital, your partner’s book presentation. Those are important things and if you miss them, you can never experience them again. This can lead to resentment with your family, and guilt with you.
  4. You will create wrong expectations at work. If you work really hard all the time, your boss will think you are coping and will continue to give you that level of work.


How to Get a Better Balance

There are only so many hours in the day, and there is nothing that you can do about that. Hence, the first step is that you have to set some limits. This means:

  • Track what you spend your time on, both personally and professionally, and decide how much of that time was actually needed.
  • Manage your time better, delegate where you can, stop engaging in activities that are not productive or enjoyable, and come up with solutions. Speak to your manager about this as well.
  • Make lists. Lists work because they give you a clear overview of what is really necessary and what is not.
  • Say no. Being assertive is a difficult skill to master, but a very important one. You cannot please everybody, no matter how much you want to. If you keep doing that, you will once again set the wrong expectations.
  • Leave your job behind. Don’t be married to your job, but go home and relax, forgetting about work.
  • Don’t constantly access your email. Physically remove it from your smartphone, for instance, particularly if it is your personal smartphone. If you have a work phone, leave it at home when it is your time off.
  • Check what options you have available, as most employers now offer some opportunities such as flexi time, telecommuting, and so on.

Doing this, according to Charles Phillips, should tremendously improve your work life balance. And he should know, as CEO of the third largest company of its kind in the world.