Changing your personality from that of an over anxious, relentless workaholic to one of relaxed productivity causes a major shift in your life balance. For the workaholics among us, how do we learn to balance that compelling desire to work, with activities that will enrich our lives?

Fixating on only one aspect of your life, whether it is work or play affects your health detrimentally. Being focused is good and is also a benefit when you are working or otherwise engaged but fixation shrinks your world and throws your life out of balance. Changing your workaholic lifestyle to one that expands your interests is a step by step process.

The first step for many who are addicted to working is to learn to focus for short periods of time. Though focusing helps to accomplish goals, if you are completely focused on only one aspect of your life, you may not be paying attention to how long it’s taking you to complete your work tasks. Starting to monitor how long each one takes and deciding if that length of time is necessary is a step in the right direction – the one to productivity.

Moving away from being a workaholic will involve putting up boundaries, many of them against yourself!  You became a workaholic because you disregarded other things in your life and now is the time to sit up and take notice of what you’ve been missing. Besides creating boundaries, learning to do things by schedule will help to take your focus off working every hour of the day. Schedule your meals and schedule your bedtime if you have to. Step away from the computer and turn it off.

Begin to take breaks every half hour for physical activity as well as to stop and observe what is going on around you, especially outdoors. Use some of your break time for a short walk, leaving your mobile devices at home.

If you have neglected your family and friends because of your fixation on working, make plans to spend time with them on your weekends and don’t back out at the last minute! Schedule time to find new hobbies and interests or revive your interest in recreational pastimes that you were once involved in.

Productivity does not always mean working. It means that you are making good use of your time and enjoying your life. Workaholics tend to be very tense and finding a physical outlet for your stress that will help you relax will eventually lead to a more healthy way of living.

For those who can’t turn themselves off from focusing on work, try to subtract one thing each day from your workaholic life and replace it with something else that doesn’t involve work. Though this is hard for workaholics, you need to keep in mind that you are doing this for you. Remember, you don’t have to please everyone, the major focus of your life goals should be on where you see yourself in future years. Live your life for yourself, not others. If you run a business or you are an entrepreneur just starting out, decide which jobs can be delegated to others and then share the load by hiring a team that can take over some of the responsibility. Then walk away and let them do it!

These teams specialize in various administrative and other duties. They work best when left to themselves. It will result in a huge burden being lifted from your shoulders and more time for you!

Changing workaholic tendencies into those of a relaxed productive person doesn’t happen overnight. Learning to balance your work with other interests will make you a much more rounded and interesting person and is worth the effort.

You may find that you actually begin to enjoy life more. You may even begin to not want to work quite as much! While this may come as a surprise to you once you notice it, at the same time, you’ll realize you are accomplishing more.

And this is productivity!

Don’t sacrifice your life to work and ideals. The most important things in life are human relations. I found that out too late.
–Katharinde Susannah Prichard Australian Author

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