Why You’re Almost Always Working (And What You Can Do About It)

Here I am, 5:05 PM on a Monday. I've reached the end of my 'allotted' working hours. Yet, as the one who created this rule... I'm prone to break it. So, I hop on Instagram for just 15 more minutes... I then realize my house is pretty clean, my boyfriend isn't available for another hour...so, I ask myself the question I ask almost every day around this time:

"To Work, or Not to Work?"

That's my question.

If you work from home or are passionate about work - you've likely had this same question cross your frontal lobe when you get 5-20 extra minutes. It's the sensation called, "real quick."

Let me just do my IG stories real quick. Let me just check in on Sandy real quick. Let me just do tomorrow's task real quick.

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Before you know it, we're totally in super work mode. Which is awkward if you're at the grocery store.... or someone literally went to the bathroom at dinner.

Why do we default to working mode?

I have a few general ideas. For women, we are naturally people-pleasing. For all of us who are empathetic, we're also prone to be aware of other's emotional needs - meaning we think, "Gosh, Sam would be so happy if he had this right now." And, the cherry on top, for those of us entrepreneurs or passionate worker bees, we're also natural drivers.

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...Damn, so is this even worth exploring? Will we ever change?

I think we want to.

Or at least, we're willing to explore the possibility that there's life outside of work.

Here's my solution:

Step One: Identity what your work is.

List out what you did the past 3 days, then dive deep into if it feels or looks or acts like a work task.

  • Is Instagram work? For me, yes. It's fun, but it is 100% work. For you?
  • Is checking e-mail work? Duh.
  • Is Pinterest work? Do you have a strategy there? What are you looking up?
  • Is the person you call after work... work?
  • Are all your dates / happy hours work-related?
  • What do you talk about at dinner?
  • When people ask you how you are... do you reply with work?
  • ^ Meaning, is a conversation, work?

Step Two: Make a dream list.

If you could do anything with your free 5 seconds-5 hours a week... what would you do?

Here's mine:

  • Podcast and Color
  • Paint
  • Learn Italian
  • Write a FICTON book (Less work-y)
  • Talk to my family not about my work....
  • Cook dinner for my neighbors
  • Learn to make vegan dishes
  • Run with Eggo
  • Sit at Barnes and Noble

Step Three: Get deep on why you are workin' for the non-existent weekend.

  • Why do you feel like you can't shut your laptop?
  • What are you trying to prove?
  • Who else in your family acted this way?
  • When you do... X? Do you feel like you could relax?
  • What would you be like if you didn't have a job?
  • Could you emulate those traits now?
  • What tools do you need to get past work-withdrawals?
  • How long have you gone with your phone off?

I'm writing this to myself too... so, let's go slow - go to the coffee shop without your laptop. Practice not perfect, friend.

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Let me know in the comments the first action you'll take from this, plus, I'd love to hear if you enjoyed it. Share it with a pal and let's help each other gain space and mental clarity.


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