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Take a Break, Workaholic!

Over the last week, I’ve had a number of conversations with colleagues and clients feeling a tad out of sorts working when our neighbors in Florida faced a devastating hurricane and significant loss. One of my dear friends asked how to deal with the guilt of not billing when there is so much going on, a lot of anxiety and sadness, and everything just feels so heavy. 

My response to her, as it is to all of you, is to take a step back and look at the big picture. Identify what you value the most and even make a list of your top three priorities. Place your list on a post-it note on your computer or your mirror so you can always keep those values top of mind. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated due to stress, look to your list. Remember that your work does not define you.

When we’re in a time of crises, it’s normal to lean into the things that we can control, like work (or buying toilet paper in a pandemic). But it is nearly impossible to be as productive at our jobs when we are distracted. The better approach is to refocus on what’s most important and really check in with yourself and what you need. 

When I’m overwhelmed with emotions or feeling heavy, I take a step away from work. I go for a walk, read a book, or schedule time with friends. Last week, after seeing so many sad stories in the news, I wanted to be around the people I love the most and celebrate our relationship. When I came back to work, I was refreshed and motivated because I had taken the time to do what I needed to do for me.

Work will always be there. You will always be able to bill more hours, handle a project, complete a pleading, or talk to a client. But, there are more important things than work and it will serve you well to remind yourself of what you hold dearest. 

This applies to managers as well. Check in with your staff and see how they are doing. Don’t expect heightened productivity amidst fear and uncertainty. Your employees will lose respect and consider leaving if you care more about the bottom line than their wellbeing. Be a conscientious boss. 

If you’re struggling with feelings of guilt in times of heightened stress, we should definitely talk. Let’s schedule a free consult to see if coaching is a good choice for you.