Work is Not Your Lover

We’ve all been there.  You’ve just wrapped up a hectic day at the office when someone drops “one more thing” on your plate.  You try to move forward with your intentions for evening, but the work keeps haunting you, so you sneak back to your phone for one more email, then onto your laptop for “just a minute” and by the time you know it, your evening is gone, your family is in bed and you’re up burning the midnight oil, having missed the whole night.  And you’re going to get up tomorrow to do it all over again.

This scenario is becoming the norm for people, especially in jobs where the work can be done from anywhere.  Yes, remote work is great in that it gave us geographical free agency – the ability to be near loved ones, to try out a new city, to make a change that wasn’t possible before.  But in many cases, it also brings the expectation that because you can turn on work anytime & anywhere, you should be working all the time from everywhere.

We need to put an end to these ridiculous expectations we’ve set for ourselves in life and in the workplace.  There will always be more work to do.  The to-do list will never be empty and even if you manage to clear your inbox, there will always be more later.  

Let’s accept that.  Let’s EMBRACE that.  

Because your to-do list shouldn’t prevent you from living your life.

We get it, work is important.  But it’s not your lover. It cannot and should not be all consuming.  You have to make room for the other things in your life that matter and truly show up in those moments.  It starts by learning how to say no to work you can’t take on, to push back on deadlines that are unreasonable, and to start treating your time like it’s the most valuable resource you have.  Because you can always make more money, but you will never get your time back. If you struggling with these conversations, there are some great resources out there to help you get started.  Here’s a great place to start.