Rich Minds, Rich Rewards E-Newsletter
September 3, 2004
This week: 8 signs you work too much and play too little
(And three steps to help you change!)
to our 61 new subscribers since last Friday! You inspire me to keep
writing. Please keep forwarding the newsletter along. Thank you for
sharing this column with your friends around the world.
IN THE NEWS:
* Join me at conferences in October in Detroit, Michigan and Savannah, Georgia!
Visit http://www.valorieburton.com/vevents.html for details.
* Order the Listen to Your Life + Rich Minds, Rich Rewards, signed two-book package for just $25 at www.valorieburton.com.
Share your challenges, comments and life enrichment ideas on my
discussion board for the Life Enrichment Challenge ... Check out the
September Challenge about valuing your time and using it wisely at
8 signs you work too much and play too little
week, I'd like to share a column that I share in this month's Life
Enrichment Challenge. One Wednesday afternoon a few years ago, I
finished a client meeting early. It was about 4:30 p.m., and normally,
I would have headed back to my office just a few minutes away. But on
this day, I decided to do something I rarely did at that hour - go
home. After running a couple of errands, I stepped through my front
door at 5:58 p.m. It felt strange arriving home while the sun was still
up. In fact, I tried to recall the last time I'd made it home that
early. It was sad to admit, but it had been over a year!
on that day that I decided to make some changes. When you're passionate
about what you do and your very livelihood depends on it, it can be
tempting to allow work to take over your life. Whether you work for
yourself or someone else, it's important to the quality of your life
that you don't spend so much time working that there is no time left
for relationships, fun, and of course, you!
Americans work more
hours each year than people in any other society in the Western world.
We live in a culture that tends to value work and the attainment of
money more than any other accomplishment. Because work is so highly
valued, overworking often goes unnoticed or is praised. It is a problem
that could make your life less fulfilling and more stressful. This
week, I want to challenge you to look at how you spend your time as it
relates to work. Consider your responses to these statements to
determine if you are working too much and playing too little:
DANGER SIGNS THAT YOU MAY BE OVERWORKING
--> You talk about work more than any other topic.
--> Your work often replaces time with friends and social outings.
--> Your home is a second office.
--> You consistently work overtime, whether there is a pressing deadline or not.
You take work, and even your laptop or handheld computer, with you on
trips (such as a family reunion, vacation, weekend trip, etc).
--> Work provides more joy in your life than anything else.
--> You feel that sleep and personal time cut into your work time.
--> The last time you took vacation time was more than six months ago.
more than half of these statements describe you, it is likely that you
are overworking. Changing your behavior is your choice. Here are some
steps to start balancing your professional and personal time better:
1. Identify the source of the problem.
Any excessive behavior is usually rooted in a desire to fill a void of
some sort in our lives. Ask yourself what you are getting from working
so excessively. Is your marriage or personal life in trouble, and work
serves as an escape for you? Does your primary identity or self-worth
come from your work? Do you have a fear of failure that causes you to
overwork for success? Pray for understanding and the wisdom and courage
to overcome it. Ask your family and friends to support your efforts to
make a change.
2. Choose your priorities and align your actions with them.
Remember the old adage, "Actions speak louder than words." Make sure
that you spend your time in such a way that your primary relationships
- with God, yourself, and loved ones - are your true priorities. What
we give our attention to grows, and what we starve of our attention,
withers away. If your career gets all of your attention, it will grow,
while your spiritual and personal life slowly, but surely will begin to
3. Make appointments with yourself and the people you care about.
Take care of yourself by scheduling time to pamper yourself, relax,
have fun or simply do nothing. What do you want to do for fun? What
would help you unwind? If working too much is an issue, schedule time
with your spouse, yourself, family or friends just like you would
schedule time for a meeting for work.
My challenge to you this week: Take action!
your time in a way that honors all aspects of your life. Take action
over the next seven days to engage fully and passionately in your work,
but when it's time to stop working, leave your work at work. Refuse to
talk about it after hours, and instead focus other important aspects of
Until next time ...
Burton is a bestselling author, life coach and regular media guest on
topics of living a more fulfilling, less stressful life. Her latest
book, Listen to Your Life, identifies seven principles to hear what
your life is saying to you and fulfill your purpose in your career,
finances, relationships, health and spiritual life.
feel free to forward the Rich Minds, Rich Rewards E-Newsletter to
friends and colleagues, but please forward in its entirety.
Rich Minds, Rich Rewards E-Newsletter is written and distributed by
Inspire, Inc. Copyright (c) 2004 Valorie Burton. All rights reserved.
Send mail to:
938 E. Swan Creek Road #202
Fort Washington, MD 20744