Work is not the Thing
Life is the thing.
And here’s my message for you this week: take as much time off work as possible and push the boundaries of what is possible.
I’m not worried about you not working hard. Or disappearing from view or getting business back or making less of an impact. If you’re tired (or worse—exhausted and burned out), you’re already making less of an impact, and maybe you’re even making a negative impact.
Some signs that you are on the edge might be:
- You’re annoyed with your colleagues or employees all the time
- You have a victim or martyr stance— “No one is working as hard as me”
- Work is overtaking your dream and brain space in your off time
- You’re not having any creative or innovative impulses—it’s same old, same old
- You spend your evenings and weekends in recovery—too much drinking, too much or not enough sleep, binge-eating or watching, scrolling
- You’re not taking care of your body
- Your friends aren’t hearing from you, or you find yourself with no friends
- You can’t remember the last time you felt carefree, happy, or joyful
- Even the smallest of tasks seem overwhelming
There are certainly many things out of our control—little things like pandemics, staff leaving, urgent items of business, financial situations, the general state of the world.
But if you’re identifying with too many of the above symptoms, it’s your cue to pull out all the stops. This might look like:
- Use up any PTO you have—getting something on the calendar even if the timing isn’t your fist choice and even if you can’t take a dreamy international trip
- Have a long conversation with your boss or board and asking them to brainstorm with you
- Ask your parents or other supportive person in your life for a loan or financial gift
- Take some money out of savings or retirement
- Stop all non-essential expenses to take unpaid time off work
- Let the chips fall—things may fall apart a bit without you in your role at work, and that is infinitely better than YOU falling apart
I’ve had too many conversations with clients lately who are suffering under the idea that they are indispensable. I know it seems that way sometimes, but it’s not true! You are special, and you’re not special. And the only way to stay plugged into life is to live with this paradox.
I loved this article about how Millennials and Gen Y folks are DONE with thinking busyness is cool, and this article about how people are cashing in on their vacation time and how many companies are trying to LET THEM. Things are changing, thank goodness.
Even if it causes some chaos, raised eyebrows, or missed opportunities, I’m begging you—log out of work and into your life. It might be an emergency.