One in three U.S. employees feels they are chronically overworked, according to the Families and Work Institute in New York. As a result, we're pushing the line between work and home, often choosing to bring our work home with us, either physically with our cell phones and laptops or mentally, with the stress.
We bring work home with us in the evening, on weekends and even when we're supposed to be on vacation. In fact, close to 25 percent of Americans bring work with them on vacation, according to CareerBuilder.com's 'Vacation 2006' survey. Meanwhile, another 16 percent feel guilty they're missing work while on vacation, and another 7 percent worry they won't have a job to go back to.
Too much work and not enough play is not only stressful for you, it's stressful for your kids and your spouse. Over time, you can end up losing close relationships and negatively affecting your health if you never take a moment away from your work life. Then, aside from being overworked, you'll also be seriously 'underpaid' because no amount of money is worth that kind of devastation.
Is Your Work-Life Interfering With Your Personal Life?
How do you know if you're currently 'overworked and underpaid' when it comes to having work/life balance? The first sign is if you bring work home with you the majority of the time. Remember, this means mentally, too. So if you come home in a foul mood because of your workload or a discussion with your boss, then yell at your kids or spouse, or ignore them because of it, you're still bringing work home.
"If you think about work obsessively when you are away from your place of business, or you 'live to work' as opposed to 'work to live,' you are letting your work interfere with your life," says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and Director of Training of Sedona Training Associates.
How to Leave Work at Work
If you'd like to spend more unencumbered quality time with your family, and have some time just for yourself, learning how to leave work at work is essential. Even the most devoted workaholic can learn when to say when to their job, and turn their attention to other important things in life. Here's how:
1. Learn to let go of your job worries. The Sedona Method is a tool that can help you learn to release and let go of any feelings of anxiety, fear or anger about your job, so that when you come home your mind is free to devote to your personal life. You can also release the feeling that you should be working when you're at home.
"The best way to avoid letting your work-life overshadow your personal life is to work when you are working, and not work when you are not working. This is easy to do if you release using The Sedona Method before, during, and after your workday. Then you'll be able to leave work at work and will be fully present for, and fully enjoy, your life," Dwoskin says.
2. Make yourself unavailable. Instead of making yourself unavailable to your family, make yourself unavailable to your job. When you get home, turn off your cell phone, your pager and your computer, and don't think about it again until you leave for work the next morning.
3. De-stress when you get home. Releasing with The Sedona Method will help you to let go of stress from your workday, but it's also helpful to make a physical distinction between your workday and your home life. Simple things like changing your clothes or taking a quick shower when you get home from work can make it feel like it's time to relax at home.