Do You Struggle To Unplug?
Mar 18, 2019
Lots of people I talk to nowadays struggle to unplug from work. And no wonder considering that for most of us it's right at our fingertips day and night!
Work as an area of addiction is particularly tricky. In America it is celebrated when people sacrifice life, healthy, fun, happiness and family for work. Some companies even expect it 😟
Considering all of the ways addiction showed up in my life, I can honestly say that WORK was the 2nd most dangerous. A lot of people are surprised to hear that when they know about my other areas like alcohol, but it had a hold on me that was incredibly destructive.
Here is how my brain used to think: Being busy = Being significant and Being productive = Being worthy enough to be alive.
So you can imagine the immense anxiety I felt when I wasn't being productive or busy. I seriously felt like I lost my right to continue living if I wasn't being productive EVERY second of EVERY day.
I recall one holiday where I promised my boyfriend (at the time) that I would take the entire day off. Mind you, he was used to seeing me at 10:00 at night after I was done with my 14 hour work day, so a whole day off was a big deal. I made it till about 11am "relaxing" before I couldn't take it anymore. I picked a fight with him and continued doing so until he was so angry that he left. Then I rushed to my office to work. It genuinely felt like life or death for me.
Needless to say, I had a problem.
People who know me now would find that story very hard to believe. I am now known for being "super chill", "way laidback" and "an instigator of fun". Don't get me wrong, I still work hard and am no stranger to 14 hour work days, but I've learned how to release the compulsivity aspect so that I get to CHOOSE when and how I work.
Here are a 5 tips that have helped me a ton:
- Being "busy" usually means doing busy work, which rarely ever moves the needle toward the ultimate goal. Make sure you know your main objective and create smaller tasks that will get you there.
- If it does not fit within the plan you've created, it does not get your attention. Only focus on what actually needs to get done.
- Set boundaries for yourself for time away from work (and stick to them). I literally had to FORCE myself to step away from work and sit in the discomfort of it. It took practice (a lot of practice), but now I have no problem relaxing or having fun.
- Recognize that rest is essential for true productivity. If you are exhausted or burnt out, you are not able to show up at your most capable. You are WAY MORE effective when you're well rested. This means a lot more than sleeping. I'm talking about resting your brain and body by allowing them time to chill, repair and re-energize by other activities (like, oh I don't know.... an unplugged vacation....).
- Your 100% changes every day - sometimes throughout the day. It is not possible to show up exactly the same way all the time in every single situation. You can always give 💯 it will just look a bit different each time.
FUN FACT: There is absolutely NOTHING you can do to be important, significant, valuable or worthy of love. Those things are built in. They come standard in every model. Each one of us was born whole, lovable and of the highest value. You could literally find a way to invent more hours in your work week to get more done, and it wouldn't increase your worth a single bit. You, my friend, are lovable, valuable and important no matter what you do whether you believe it or not.
Don't Settle for Sober, my friend!
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