Letting work dominate your life means having less time and energy for the people who matter to you. Whether it’s your partner, children, family or friends, they will be getting less time (and more to the point, less quality time) with you. However you dress it up, your relationships need time and energy to flourish. Without it, they wither away. That goes for everyone from mates you meet down at the pub to your most intimate companion. Too many parents realize too late with great regret that they worked so hard they hardly knew their children while they were growing up.
Being constantly absorbed by work won’t do much for your chances of making new friends either. Or, for that matter, finding a partner. Arriving tired, stressed and late, talking about work and leaving early to ensure you make it to work on time is no way to impress a date. Most people are interested in prospective partners with more than one side to their lives.
Your broader interests can suffer as much as your relationships. Remember all those things you used to enjoy doing, or wanted to do one day, but now you just don’t have the time? In reality, you probably do still have time, but you’ve allowed work to take it all. All those other plans and projects and ambitions could become reality, if you would only keep work in perspective.
Work to excess, and your sense of who you are can become completely bound up with your job. That might feel fine when things are going well at work, but when things go wrong or you lose your job, it can have a devastating impact, affecting you out of all proportion and leaving you feeling completely lost. You should avoid this at all costs. After all, it’s just a job.
Nancy Seiverd, President, CMI Credit Mediators, Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org)