Here are 6 tips on overcoming your addiction to work

Here are 6 tips on overcoming your addiction to work

Six ways to break the cycle of working long hours and constantly checking emails

 

Mindfulness: helps people become more mentally flexible

Mindfulness: helps people become more mentally flexible

 

For many of us, working a lot feels good. But that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. How do you break the cycle of working long hours and constantly checking email?

Here are six tips for overcoming your addiction to work:

Redefine success

To live a full life, you need to “have purpose and draw a boundary line that shows respect for your family life, physical health and spiritual health”, says Stewart Friedman, the author of Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life.

Refocus your attention

There will always be more work, but consciously decide to spend time elsewhere. When you’re with someone, give the person your full concentration for a certain period of time, then allow yourself a five-minute timeout to deal with whatever work has come in.

Reset expectations

Friedman suggests enlisting colleagues, family and friends for “accountability and support”. Resetting the expectations of your boss and co-workers requires that you be clear about the changes you’re making and why you’re making them.

Experiment with digital detoxes

When “you’re physically present but psychologically absent, you’re saying to the people you are with that they are less important”, Friedman says. Try putting away your smartphone at the end of the work day.

Practice mindfulness

Growing evidence suggests that practising nonjudgmental, present-moment awareness – also known as mindfulness – helps people become more mentally flexible and make better decisions.

Prioritise your health

Studies show that people who prioritise their health have more energy and better focus. But “if you’re [only] thinking about these things out of your own interest, it’s not going to be sustainable”, warns Friedman. You must also think about the people who count on you. – (Copyright Harvard Business Review 2016)

Previously published in The Irish Times.

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