Recently I moved into a brand new position, in fact it was only a month ago!! I’m super excited about this new opportunity, learning a new side of the oil industry and progressing further with my career. With that being said, in every single role I’ve been in I’ve become obsessed with my work, like talking, living and breathing it. I’m keen to change this pattern and learn from my previous self and not bring her into my new working environment. I’m now working for the same company as my husband, so I need to make even more of a conscious effort to not become obsessed with talking about work! And for sure, I don’t think there is a negative to being passionate about your work, but being that it is December the 16th and I’m counting down the days to Christmas just to be able to have some time off after a crazy busy year and being able to relax and detox ready for my next professional chapter in January.
So since I’ve had time to maybe evaluate my relationship with work, I have a couple of pointers which I’m happy to pass on for other people, like me to help themselves enjoy a work/life balance and stop being a workaholic..
Firstly, you need to acknowledge and admit what has happened… hello I’m Francene and I’m a workaholic. I know I’m a workaholic as I’m fascinated by my industry, I talk about work (maybe 75% of the time then 25% fashion/beauty/clothes… my poor husband) and because I find myself watching youtube videos and reaching things/asking my hubby about a million questions outside of work. Also, I end up going into work extra early, but because I have to but because I WANT to in order to prolong my day…!
Now, your partners and friends shouldn’t be used as a professional coach or crutch. They are here to endeavour in adventures that will bring fulfilment to your life, and not to sit next to you for hours on end listening to you talk about work. If you are feeling frustrated, which I for sure did in my previous position and some days it really got me down, and as I’ve mentioned before I’m TERRIBLE when it comes to talking about my feelings. I always end up having a close relationship with one person at work who is my ‘work crutch’ or better known as work husband/wife. But it’s really also not there job to solve all your worries and woes. Therefore, go speak to someone. A therapist shouldn’t be seen as a terrible, weak thing to do. But a way for your to discuss your fears, frustrations, worries without being reliant and taking advantage of your friends and family.
Work Sensible Hours – I get that this is easier said than done. My husband used to always say to me ‘if you are working late you aren’t managing your time effectively enough’ and frankly he has a point. You need to prioritize your work load, which I feel like I’m a pro-now. Make a list, anything urgent you need to complete right away, anything you don’t want to do and feel like you will procrastinate over then you need to also add this to the semi-urgent list which will ensure you do it right away (and it never seems that bad once you start the task you are putting off) and then if there is anything you haven’t completed in the time request you need to understand why. It is not productive to sit in the office for extra hours when you are just chatting or attending irrelevant meetings when you should have been concentrating on other important matters that will actually impact your business/position.
Since I worked offshore, and I used to enjoy having long leaves, where it was my time and I had lots of it, I realised very quickly how boring it can be.. therefore it’s very important you have interests and hobbies. I mean things that you can do with people, or enjoy on your own and it makes you happy. I have my blog and I love to sing. Many occasions where I come home from work, lock myself in my spare bathroom (It would take too long to go into it, but ever seen Ally MacBeal where John Cage has his special place behind the bathroom stall?! Okay, it’s my best comparison but I’m the same, it’s like my own space which I love…!) and I sing or write poems. I also have other hobbies, but you get my point. You need to have interests outside of work, or you will go CRAE!
Unless you have anything urgent going on, turn your phone off. Spend time without technology and enjoy the world around you. During my transition between this new job and my last job I went without a phone for 9 days (not going to lie it literally felt like the longest 9 days of my life) BUT it was the best thing I’ve ever done. And now I have a phone I’m not constantly checking e-mails, or taking phone calls because anything urgent you would already know about and have a plan in place, or exceptional circumstances permit you to work outside of core hours, but in reality nothing is that urgent. Too many couples (us included) come home, have dinner then sit separately on their phones. WHAT IS SO IMPORTANT?! My friend goes home, puts his phone in another room and spends time with his family, then will check his e-mails before he goes to bed incase there is anything urgent, but the reason for this is he doesn’t want his daughter coming second to a phone.
Take a lunch break. Take the time to leave the office, go get something nice, or just go for a walk somewhere and take your mind off work. It’s proven you will come back and be more productive if you take that break. Plus we all know that feeling when you haven’t left your desk and it feels like the LONGEST DAY EVER! From my experience I have also noticed that you see things from a different perspective when you walk away then come back with fresh eyes. This includes important communications. I have learned to write it out, leave it and come back to check it.
Now lastly, the most important point I have learned in my short term working ashore, stick to your personal calendar. I’ve had so many nights in my previous job where I come home, it’s been a terrible day, I’m in a mood and I have dinner plans with a friend, or my husband wants to do something, or I was going to go to a gym class. Instead of doing the fun activity, I end up in sulky mood sitting watching Netflix prolly eating something that’s going to make me feel worse and I do wake up feeling like I wasted the evening. I LOVE socialising, and I love doing things that make me happy. So don’t cancel your plans because for that 5 minutes you feel like you can’t be bothered. This is what brings up joy in life, don’t waste moments.
I hope these points will help. I also hope I take them into this new amazing role and I don’t end up being a stress horrible wife who cries a lot, because I’m not even a hot crier, I feel it’s worse than Kim Kardashian!
Take the time to switch off and enjoy the festive season with friends and family because it’s been a tough year and we ALL DESERVE IT! x