THE BLOG
07/11/2014 12:50 pm ET Updated Sep 10, 2014

Do You Love Your Job Too Much?

It's wonderful to have a job that you love. One that makes you happy and productive, with talented people you enjoy working with. A job that springs you out of bed early and pays you well. One that you don't mind staying late for, giving up weekends for, hanging up your running shoes for. One that is more satisfying than a good book, a creative hobby. One that reliably substitutes for family and friends and the potential for a romantic life. One that has taken possession of your life and soul and time and identity. Wait a minute.... what?

If some things ring true, you just might want to consider not loving your job quite so much. Not so much that you don't leave time for the other wonderful things that are, our could be, in your life.

  • You will likely, over the course of your career, change jobs. Your family and friends? They're with you for the duration. Don't take them for granted, keep them close and don't stop making memories. No job ever offered me a better support group than my family and friends.
  • Leave time for your hobbies and, if you don't have one, find one. Want to learn a craft, master a skill? You can learn how to do just about anything online. Or, take a class with a like-minded friend or go it alone and meet new people. Give in to your creativity. It's there, you just have to give it room to surface. A good one will both relax and stimulate your brain and make you happy.
  • If you need to look at it this way, a lack of sleep actually robs you of some of the energy you'll need to continue to excel at work. If that's what it takes to get you a good night's sleep, okay. Though, please, consider using some of that extra energy elsewhere.
  • Not eating well and/or exercising regularly are other energy-drainers. And, a lack of either or both is bad for your overall health and wellness -- physical and mental wellness.
  • Find time in your schedule to help others. If you think your job gives you energy and a feeling of accomplishment, just wait until you do something worthwhile for others!
  • Leave work at a reasonable hour. Yes, there are things sometimes that keep you there, but not as often as you think. Make plans ahead of time that get you off your chair and out the door. Don't make the mistake of waiting until the last minute, when you're suddenly free, to call friends to have dinner. They're busy, too. Schedule something with them in advance and manage your schedule around it.
  • And, when you're making plans with friends, remember that you have to turn off your cell phone in the movies, at the theater and at some restaurants. And, who can hear their phone at loud sporting events? Choose your venues well.
  • Too many weekends at the office? Make plans to get away and tell everyone at work beforehand that your cell phone reception will be sketchy. You can't take your phone with you for a swim. Can you kayak holding a phone? Well, maybe yes, but only if you want to go around in circles and get nowhere.
  • Know when to call it a day. Be aware when exhaustion and stress begin creeping into your life and take action immediately. When I wait too long to confront the demons, and it gets bad, I take to my bed for a day to regroup and calm down. I call it Bed Camp. It works for me.
I have been fortunate, for most of my life, to have a career I enjoyed. I didn't always like the job or the boss, but I always loved the business and that got me through the rough patches and helped me find alternatives. There is little worse in life than hating your job, not respecting the people you work with or the business you're in. Equally toxic is a job you love so much that is allows you to forget and forgo life's pleasures and pastimes.

If you've gotten yourself in a good place at work, at a job you love, with smart, supporting coworkers you respect, enjoy it. Just don't love it too much.

To view the Bed Camp Guide, visit my blog at http://www.BedCamp.wordpress.com or follow Bed Camp on Facebook.

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