Last week we talked about work ethic, and the need to educate our young people to work hard, take personal responsibility, and say “no” to the entitlement mentality. All important!
On the other hand, there is an equally insidious trap we want to help them avoid: workaholism.
My own father worked very hard at his job of coloring the bright construction paper at a Wisconsin paper mill. But when his work was done, it was done. He was able to devote his free time to family and interests by not taking his work home with him.
Today’s workplace is completely different. We’re now a service economy in the information age. Consequently, our work life today is much more knowledge-based and open-ended. While this makes for a more exciting work environment, it does have its downside. We tend to take our work home with us, and, if we’re not careful, it can easily consume our free time.
And now with our cell phones becoming virtual appendages, we’re always “on call” –a new source of overwork and distraction.
Don’t get me wrong. Your career will be a key component of your life. However, more than any other aspect of your life, it has the greatest risk of taking over if you’re not careful. And, if you’re a student, remember there’s more to life than your books. Your studies, too, can be all consuming if you let them.
If you allow your work or studies to dominate, and can’t let them go during your free time, you’ll suffer burnout and starve your relationships. (Recall from a previous blog that the most common life regret of elderly people is not spending enough time with loved ones.)
Always remember to stay balanced and invested in other areas of your life to keep things healthy and happy. People need you and you need them!
Are you able to leave your work behind and “switch off” at the end of the work day? Consider passing this along to a friend or young adult for them to consider, “tweet” it, or share it to Facebook. And please share YOUR thoughts with US by commenting below; we’d love to hear from you.