How do you recognize when you are working too much and for the wrong reasons?
Who today truly keeps their perspective of what's normal or acceptable when it comes to work? Surviving the economic crisis of 2009 has pushed the limits of what is normal working behavior. The rules are changing, and more and more of us are working longer hours, giving up weekends, taking on impossible deadlines, doing work we hate -- because of downsizing and fear of being laid off. And none of this is satisfying or rewarding; it's the work equivalent of the Bataan Death March.
Can you remember when you worked lots of hours because it was fun? Can you remember how it felt to finish a high-quality project on time, even if it meant long nights and weekends? You walked away from those moments knowing you had created something important, and most likely, you had done it together with your colleagues, so the shared experience of success was even more rewarding. In the months that followed, "Remember when we knocked that project out of the park?" would bring a smile to everyone's face and a renewed sense of energy for the task at hand.
This energy is the fuel for sustaining your passion for work. Without it, work is hard and definitely not fun. There's a series of questions you can ask yourself to see if you've emptied your work gas tank and are running on fumes:
Any one of these questions can be true at any given time for all of us. It's when two or three or four are true that it's clear that our passion for work has been replaced by a sense of obligation and even dread. Obligation is a bad coach; it never inspires us or gives us the energy we need to be happy at work.
Published on www.ezinearticles.com on Feb. 19, 2010 and in my book.