It can be difficult to achieve the perfect work/life balance. In fact, there may not even be a “perfect” balancing point. The general idea is to have both a satisfying career and a fulfilling personal life. But sadly, many of us get so caught up in our careers that we let our personal lives suffer. While we’re struggling to make a name for ourselves, get that big promotion or just remain a part of the team, our family and friends feel neglected and our personal commitments get ignored.
Work can be demanding. But it’s critical that we don’t let it completely take over our lives. Unfortunately, those who have let this happen often don’t even see it until their personal relationships have been damaged beyond repair or until the stress overwhelms them to the point of burnout.
Being a workaholic can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. Take a few minutes to see if you’re suffering from this horrible affliction by taking the quiz below.
Review the following statements and pick the answer that describes you best. You may not find an answer that matches your feelings exactly, so just choose the one that’s closest.
1. I stay late at the office:
a) Never. I’m usually out of there at least a few minutes before everyone else. Hey, I’ve got a life unlike some other people.
b) Only when it’s absolutely necessary. If we are approaching a critical deadline, usually the whole team will work late together to get things done. I try not to do it on a regular basis but I definitely want to support my team and our goals.
c) All the time. I’m usually the only one in the office that late but I just can’t stand the thought of leaving while there’s still work to be done.
2. Regarding my job, my friends and family say:
a) Most of them don’t know anything about my job.
b) They support my career goals and know it’s challenging but they don’t think it consumes my every waking moment.
c) They think it rules my life. They get angry when I talk about work or do work tasks outside the office. Sometimes, I think they want me to quit.
3. I miss events with my family and friends due to work:
a) Never. I’d rather call in sick than miss something with my friends and family.
b) I’ve done it occasionally, but it’s definitely not a regular thing.
c) Too many times to count. I often have to make personal sacrifices to succeed in my profession.
4. I find myself doing work tasks outside of the office:
a) Never. I leave work where it belongs.
b) Rarely. It is only for very specific projects that I feel it is necessary to sacrifice my personal time for my job.
c) Everyday. If I didn’t take work home with me, I’d have to live at the office.
5. If I need to take personal time off of work (for a doctor’s appointment or another personal obligation):
a) I just take it. My personal appointments are more important than work.
b) It’s usually not a problem. I try to schedule a time when it will be convenient for everyone else in the office. But in the end, it has to be done so I expect they will all understand.
c) I haven’t taken time for a personal appointment in years! It’s such a pain to be out of the office it doesn’t seem worth it.
Count the number of A’s, B’s and C’s you have.
If A’s appear most on your list:
Well, here’s the good news: You’re in no danger of being a workaholic. In fact, this might be a good time to consider whether or not you’re really committed to your current job. You seem to be much more concerned with your personal life than your career. While this is perfectly acceptable, be careful not to give the wrong impression to your co-workers and superiors. Showing you care about your job isn’t a bad thing. Even staying late once in a while is okay. Don’t get so absorbed in your personal life that your career suffers.
If B’s appear most on your list:
It appears you’ve achieved a nice balance between your personal life and your career. You understand the need to make occasional personal sacrifices for your work, but you don’t make a habit of it. You seem to understand that there are times when you just can’t do everything. You make time for your friends and family, who seem to support your career goals. And you appear to keep personal commitments to yourself while still putting your best foot forward at work. Great job! This is not an easy task. You’ve worked hard to maintain this balance so keep up the good work.
If C’s appear most on your list:
Warning! Danger! You’re overworking yourself! Put down the cell phone and step away from the laptop! This is your LIFE sending you a wake-up call!
It’s time to take a step back and realize that you simply can’t do everything at the office. Perhaps you need to delegate some things. Maybe it’s time to take a much needed vacation – believe it or not, the business will go on without you. It may feel like you have no choice but to work late, sacrifice your personal life and do everything yourself, but it’s just not true. You can have a life and a career at the same time. It takes some effort though. You have to be willing to say “no”. You have to ask for help. You can’t keep this up for long – your friends and family are already frustrated. Take a look at your priorities. Is work really more important than EVERYTHING else? You’ve been treating it that way. It’s time to stop and re-evaluate. Don’t let your professional life ruin your personal life.