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How to Break Your Addiction to Work

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is practicing nonjudgmental awareness in the present moment.

Mindfulness can be helpful for trying to break addiction to work. It helps you to get a sense of control and be deliberate about your choices.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Break Your Addiction to Work

How to Break Your Addiction to Work

https://hbr.org/2016/05/how-to-break-your-addiction-to-work

hbr.org

8

Key Ideas

An Unbalanced Life

We live in a culture where work demands our complete allegiance. At the same time, it can be extremely enriching. You feel challenged by your work, you're attached to it, you're learning new things.

But, it is harmful to live an unbalanced life with too much focus on work and never truly being 'off'. It is detrimental to your relationships, your health, and your productivity.

Redefine Success

Reconsider how you define success. Workaholics are always aiming to get ahead. But you also need to draw a boundary line that shows respect for your family life, and your physical and spiritual well-being.

Refocus Your Attention

After you have redefined success, consider how you want to invest your time and energy. 

There will always be more work to be done, but make a choice to spend your time elsewhere: with family, friends, or in your community. And when you spend time with your family or friends, do so with undivided attention.

Reset Expectations

When trying to break an addiction, enlist the help of family, friends or colleagues for accountability and support.

Reset the expectations of your boss and coworkers. Be clear about the changes you are making and the reason for the change. 

Digital Detox

For digital detoxing, experiment with different solutions.

  • Put your smartphone away. Put your smartphone out of reach after the workday is done.
  • Don't use your phone as a time-filler. It can be a tough habit to break but it will help you to live in the moment.
  • Model better manners at the office. Tapping away on your phone while someone else is talking is disrespectful.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is practicing nonjudgmental awareness in the present moment.

Mindfulness can be helpful for trying to break addiction to work. It helps you to get a sense of control and be deliberate about your choices.

Prioritizing Health

You can work productively in a creative way for only a certain number of hours per day. Even then, you need proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise for more energy and better focus.

Also consider your family, friends, coworkers, and clients, who count on you and your good health.

Principles To Remember

Do:

  • Redefine personal success to be more about high-quality relationships, community engagement, and physical and spiritual wellness.
  • Be intentional about how you choose to spend your time and with whom you spend it.
  • Try mindfulness.

Don’t:

  • Go it alone — enlist the help of colleagues, family, and friends.
  • Automatically reach for your phone.
  • Be sparing on exercise, sleep, and wholesome food.

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  • Unable to keep the boundaries between work and life.

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No one knows where you are and what you are doing, and that can be an advantage, but also can be misused. 

Start Early and Mimic Office Time

The schedule that makes you start early, and mimic the office hours works best, as you end up being free earlier too. However, night owls may find working at night to be more productive or comfortable for them.

Maintaining a schedule in a routine, while incorporating regular exercise with it, works best.

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The signs of burnout
  • You dread going to work in the morning.
  • You show up late or find reasons to leave early.
  • You feel bored or don’t want to engage with the work when you’re there.
  • You’re ...
Find friends outside of work

If your only friends are your friends at work, it'll be more challenging to avoid work on evenings and weekends. If you do have coworkers as close friends, consider setting some boundaries around work talk.

Try to avoid getting drawn into office drama, as it will increase the time you spend talking and thinking about work.

Speak up

Speak up when your workload is too much. Tell your boss if you are stretched too thin or when you regularly work too many hours. Talk about what you can reasonably get done in a week.

Also, don't say yes to everything. If you have a hard time saying no, don't respond immediately. Instead say, "Let me get back to you", or, "Let me think about that."

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Keep the Same Schedule

To give your day structure, keep the same routine as when you went into an office. Get up at the same time and make a to-do list. Check in with the same person every morning.

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Set Boundaries

Pick a place for your office away from distraction.
Boundaries also apply to other people who may be sharing the same space. Children can work alongside you as if they were coming to the office.

Schedule Breaks

You won't have the same cues as you do from your workplace to remind you to get up or get lunch. When you lose the pace of your day, everything can start to blend together.

Treat your exercise, meals and stretch breaks as you would any other meeting. Put it on your calendar, at least to start.

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Extroverts Working Remotely
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Daily Morning Huddle with Coffee Chats

An informal daily huddle where everyone is face-to-face in a virtual meeting, holding a fresh cup of coffee is a great way to start the day with purpose and energy. It requires everyone to wake up early, get dressed and make a cup of coffee.

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Dance Parties And Music Playlists

Infusing music and dance in your breaks can add a sense of pleasure in the otherwise dull and drab routine, enhancing the immediate virtual surrounding of the extroverts.

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The new normal

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Clear communication

The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss. Your manager might not be used to managing people virtually or may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers.

To prevent a breakdown in communication, you need to know exactly what's expected of you from day-to-day. Ask your boss for a 10-minute video call to start and end the day. Reach out to coworkers and managers regularly so that you won't get forgotten.

Treat it like a real job
  • Don't lounge around in your pajamas. Treat it like a real job.
  • Create a space exclusively for work that is removed from distractions, just like you would at your office desk.
  • Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand when you're 'at work.'
  • Bookend your day. If you can't enter and leave a physical office that creates more precise boundaries, use psychological transitions like a 20-minute coffee in the morning, then exercise right after work.

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The Issue With Perfectionism
The Issue With Perfectionism

The more you chase perfectionism, the more likely you are to procrastinate and then get stressed out when things don’t go exactly how you wanted them to.

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Standards vs Reality

Most perfectionists can’t see their standards are unrealistic and bad for them. To find if you’re a perfectionist, ask yourself if your standards:

  • ... are higher than those of others.
  • ... can be met by you or others.
  • ... help or get in the way of you achieving your goals.
  • ... can be relaxed without affecting much the end result.
Thinking Like An Athlete

In sports, the drive for perfectionism is a positive force and turn setbacks into opportunities to reflect, learn, and adjust your approach. But regular perfectionists keep revisiting past failures as a form of self-condemnation.

All this does is cause them to raise the bar even higher, increasing the likelihood of failure. Try to see failure as simply a launching place for success, so you can break away from perfectionism.

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Trim the fat

Multitasking and directing your energy to unimportant tasks and activities will overwhelm and prevent you from being productive.

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Measure your results

To assist you with measuring results instead of time, keep done lists to feel more motivated and focused.

Have an attitude adjustment

We are more effective at work when we have a positive attitude. 

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Hobbies and side hustles

A hobby is not a side hustle. It is important to develop hobbies outside of our economy with no financial motives attached.

Since a leisure pursuit is an outlet for stress, the pure pleasure of engaging in a hobby should be enough. A hobby not only helps to refuel us for a busy work life but also helps us to practice deep focus.

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