Hey, Workaholics! You need to take it easy!

I’ve been dating my boyfriend, Clint, for almost 2 years now.  When we first started dating, I noticed how dedicated he was with his career.  He would spend more than the standard 8-9 hours a day working, even on the weekends.  Every 5 minutes (or so it seemed) he would be on his phone, checking and sending emails.   Being that we had just started dating, I brushed it off as one of his quirks.  Almost 2 years later, it’s definitely still one of his quirks.

Essentially, the same pattern was something I noticed among some of my friends and co-workers: all work and hardly any play.  Their lives solely revolved around work.  They bust their necks working long hours and are always stressed out.  Work is #1 and everything else is just kind of there. Fun? What’s “fun”?  Relaxation? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

(image via experiencelife.com)

I’ve always heard countless news reports saying how much Americans work compared to people in other countries.  To quote a recent ABC News article “Americans work more than anyone else in the industrialized world…Americans take less vacation, work longer days, and retire later…”*** No surprise there.

(image via sheknows.ca)

Don’t get me wrong, I admire people with great work ethic.  I sometimes catch myself preoccupied with work related stuff while I’m at home too. Going above and beyond the job description and going the extra mile sets you apart.  But there’s a huge difference between going the extra mile and going an extra 100 miles.

I get it.  You want to work hard now so you won’t have to in the future.  You’ve landed this awesome new job, and you want to be the best employee that ever existed.  Your friends and family will totally understand that you’ve missed everyone’s birthday celebrations, weddings, graduations, and other memorable life events because this really important deadline was basically life or death.  [Insert more workaholic excuses here]

 (image via kootation.com)

Yes, giving your best at whatever you’re passionate about is great.  But you need to relax and have a little bit of fun too, for your own personal sanity (click here for more information on how being a workaholic can seriously affect your life).  Years from now when you’re on your death bed, do you want to reminisce about all the wonderful times you experienced or do you want to think about those late nights at the office?  I know this may sound a bit disturbing, but it’s 100% true: your family and friends aren’t going to live forever.  Cherish the opportunity you have with them NOW instead of when it’s too late.

So go for a run or catch a yoga class.  Call a friend to catch up.  Go home and spend some time with your parents or other family members.  Turn off your email notifications on your iPhone when you’re not working.  Don’t be afraid to put work on hold for a little while (it can wait).  Take some time to care for and focus on yourself so that you CAN excel at work.

Are you or do you know someone who is a workaholic? Comment and share your story!


*** Read the entire article here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93364&page=1#.UbYDaOesgyo

Vivian Ta

Vivian is a running fanatic and founder of The Daily Runner, a website dedicated to inspire people all over the world to start running. Currently pursuing her Ph.d in Experimental Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, Vivian is also a certified fitness instructor. Her fitness and wellness column is featured on MCG every other Wednesday. Connect with Vivian on Twitter @dailyrunnerpage and on Facebook Facebook.

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