Enjoying your work is all part of making your career a worthwhile one, but what happens when you enjoy your work a little too much and start to neglect the things that drive you outside of the office?
So how deep does the rabbit hole go? Here are the levels you will face as you bounce down the staircase:
Level 1 – Distraction
As much as you would like to pay attention to the work you love, you constantly drift off into daydreams of an incomplete art project, long conversations with friends, or that one time you made oven baked cakes a little too sweet just because you wanted to.
Your mind can only pay attention to so many things and all these distractions will ultimately catch up to whatever leftover RAM your brain can muster. This will impair or most probably hurt work performance and get you in trouble.
Level 2 – Social neglect
“Hey man, wanna go grab some drinks with the rest of buddies later?” says an overly enthusiastic friend. “Sorry I can’t, still have stuff to finish in the office,” you say with a semi-proud, somewhat unsure voice (busy being busy is good business right?).
Sound familiar? If it does then you are on a train chugging along to destination ‘Kampung Lonesome’. Sooner or later you will find that nobody calls you out anymore (except for your boss and colleagues), and your family starts to wonder if that one extra space in the house could do as a new TV room.
Level 3 – Lose your purpose
Aside from the waking up, getting dressed, commuting to, getting work done, commuting back, getting undressed, brushing your teeth and going back to sleep; there really is nothing much else in your life.
Soon you will start to figure out the endless cycle of the last two levels becoming more and more evident, making you lose focus at work and kill motivation; the motivation you need to continue birthing stellar work and being efficient.
Bonus level – Health goes down the crapper
With all that’s going on with the previous 3 levels, you will start to face stress amounts that do not invigorate; instead they harm you, pretty darn badly. Sleep deprivation reducing concentration, body aches from sitting too much or standing too much, irregular eating times resulting in either spare tyres around the gut or a scarecrow like appearance, and many more related ailments that come packaged nicely in a neat McValue meal box.
Not really something to look forward to each day huh?
Level 4 – Burn out
The plane going down boys! The work you used to love doing becomes nothing more than a chore to complete. You sift through the hours staring at the clock wondering how long more do you have before it is time to shut your eyes in bed again.
You start the day muttering to yourself, “It’s gonna be a long day…” and sigh each time you reach the office’s front entrance; welcoming you back to the once passion filled space that had all opportunities highlighted and a future a far, but now a dungeon where you feel caged and withdrawn from the outside world.
It’s not too late though it all seems grim. There are parachutes on board.
Everyone needs hobbies that they love and interests to pursue, and a healthy social life to fill the mental space with human connections. These are the things that drive us out of the daily grind and revitalise us to face challenges each day. You will need that time off to reset and give your mind a rest.
If you can relate to the levels that were presented it would be a good time to start thinking about what you actually want and realise that a balanced work / real life is the only way to go.
OMG I’m like that what do I do now?
- Scale back on the time taken at the office and rethink whether or not you are using the clock efficiently. Time is what you make of it; the time to spend for yourself and the time for work. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
- Pick up the things you once dismissed as distractions and that small spark my start burning again.
- Call up (and do catch up in the physical world not on Facebook) with the people you missed. You might be surprised that they would probably pick up right after you left off.
- If it none of these feel that it is a possibility, maybe it is time to reconsider the kind of work you are doing and evaluate whether or not it’s the right one for you.
Make the change, your future self will thank you.
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