Do you know anyone who’s entire identity is tied to their work? Now that Labor Day has passed let’s reflect on the impact that our jobs have on the rest of our lives. For many, work success and achievement are the only ways to validate their worth and define themselves. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in work accomplishments unless it causes neglect and devalues other aspects of life. With today’s technology it is very easy to be connected to work 24/7. For many the positive impact they have at work is acknowledged more often than their home contributions. Of course the financial gain that work offers is a powerful allure that home life can’t offer. We’ve convinced ourselves that work productivity and performance gives us a greater sense of importance and value.
Personally I recognize the tremendous value of work. I expend a fair amount of time and energy in this area too. The question becomes how successful are we at walking away from work? And do we balance life with our work and home commitments? While we can receive great pleasure and joy from work, especially when we are able to make a difference in someone’s life, think about the cost and consequence to other areas of life. Some people have successfully found that healthy balance. Consider that the rewards from work are often time-limited and fleeting, whereas the rewards from personal life accomplishments can be life-long and even create a future legacy through the family and friends we’ve impacted.
The challenge is to turn off the work clock and mentality while separating labor from leisure. Time management and readjusting priorities are necessary steps to take. Setting an alarm on your phone may be one way of prompting you to end work and focus on family. Another suggestion is to set aside time to decompress when you arrive home so that you can better transition to home mode. The most difficult task is turning off all electronics and engaging into home life. Setting boundaries, saying no, and not overcommitting ourselves can make this transition easier. Finding passion and purpose beyond work can expand our sources of fulfillment and provide other ways to feel worthy. Lastly, reconnecting and reinvesting in relationships can build our sense of belonging and confidence at a much deeper level than our work accomplishments. Value work, but not to the point that it’s your only source of worth.