Kim Kirmmse Toth - Small Business Coach

Boomer Women: When Work Interferes with Your Life & How to Change it

MP3 File

Has your work ever interfered with your ‘other life?’ That ‘real’ life that does not include work, even if it’s work you love? What I mean is true leisure. Not thinking about, planning about or doing anything even close to work.

I am talking especially to those of you entrepreneurial types. That certainly does not exclude those of you working for companies or corporations but, in my experience, those who work for themselves are more at risk for ‘over working.’

Does this sound like you?

* You’re with your family or friends doing something fun and your thinking about your next deadline, the speech you have to write or what exactly to include in your next project.

* You’re at home with or without family and friends but there is a TV on in the background, your computer is turned on with Outlook opened and pinging every time an email arrives, and your Blackberry is on reminding you of all the emails that have arrived that you haven’t read.

* You’re on vacation, at the beach or skiing in the mountains. You have a fantastic place to stay and renew yourself. As soon as you walk into your lovely room there is your laptop, open and ready to be checked out, just in case you missed something at work.

Wow. As I write this I am thinking to myself, that’s awful! Who would do that? Well, I have been guilty of that and I am sure you have too. So, what are you and I thinking? Reading it in print makes it sound like the silliest of things but sadly those 3 bullet points happen way too much.

If this is you, it’s time to realign your values and work ethics. Having good work ethics does not mean working all the time or even thinking about work every waking moment. Good or even stellar work ethics means getting your work done on time, being a team player, doing your best work, and living a balanced life. Without a balanced life your work takes over, you get burned out, you get stressed, you don’t think as clearly as you might and basically, your work is not as great as it could be.

So, what to do about this? It’s really not that hard, at least on paper. It’s something you would tell your best friends or your adult children when they seem overworked, cranky and out of sorts.

* When you are with your children, your spouse, your friends; be with them. Be with them 100% not anything less. These are the most important people in your life right now and the time you have with them cannot be replaced. You can never get the time back that you were with them at the beach, or on the slopes, but you really weren’t there because you were thinking of work.

* Be sure to set your own boundaries. When you are at home in the evenings or the weekends do you really need your computer on? If you have a home office, think about simply closing that door and keeping it closed until it’s time for your designated ‘work’ hours. And I really mean setting your own ‘work’ hours. Just because you have a home office doesn’t give you permission to work 24/7. Just because you have a Blackberry doesn’t mean to have to check the emails accumulating. That’s what the delete button is for.

* Vacations are special times and well earned. “Working Vacations” is an oxymoron that too many women fall trap too. Use these times to revitalize yourself and connect with that ‘fun’ and ‘relaxed’ person you used to be. This is leisure time. It’s necessary and should be a requirement!

Now it’s your turn. I know you fall into at least one of these areas once in awhile if not more so. The questions are:

– What can you do now, starting today, to pay more attention to your relationships and nurture them to the fullest?
– What can you do to maximize your home time, even if you have a home office?
– On your next vacation. (You do take vacations right?) What can you do to ensure your vacation is the leisure and renewal times it’s supposed to be?

It’s time to reconnect with life ladies! Working is great and you love it, but balance is the key. But I know you already know that so now just go ahead and live that way!

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