12 Steps to Sanity Jobs:
How to manage your career
As seen in the Atlanta Journal Constitution
November 14, 1999
Burnout. That's where you're headed if you're on a daily diet of stress, chaos, and too much work. Here are 12 steps to weaning yourself from too much work:
This is a courageous act for a workaholic because they're terrified another person will botch the work, Sipp says.
- MAINTAIN BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE
Studies have shown that workers are more productive when they take time for vacation and have balance in their lives. Jennifer White, author of "Work Less, Make More," urges people to take at least two weeks' vacation each year. "Don't bring your laptop or your cellphone," White says. "Get away from the office to get back in touch with who you are."
- SET A DEPARTURE TIME TO LEAVE WORK AND STICK TO IT
Create end-of-the-workday rituals. White, a Kansas City, MO, success coach who works from home, walks her dog promptly at 6:00 P.M. each night. "That way I end my work day and begin my personal life," she said.
- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Exercise. Meditate. Eat well. Get proper rest (You can't make good choices without it). Spend time with friends and supporters. "It's about reparenting yourself," Sipp said. "Set limits and boundaries, learn and practice healthy behavior."
- CREATE A SUPPORT SYSTEM
Find people whose lives are in balance and pattern yourself after them. This gives you a role model. Ask them "what works for you?" Sipp has what she calls life coaches -- people who continually nurture and support her.
- GET A GOOD THERAPIST
Preferably one who isn't interested in keeping you in therapy for the rest of your life but one who can help you make a transformation.
It's not about scheduling, it's about prioritizing. Choose six things you can do in a day, instead of making a long list, Sipp said. Do those and then STOP.
- SCHEDULE NON-NEGOTIABLE FAMILY TIME AND SPOUSE TIME
Set up family rituals. Sipp and her children regularly go to dinner at their favorite Mexican restaurant, followed by a trip to the nearby book store and ice cream parlor. "You've got to have some fun." A workaholic doesn't know how to do that. They have to be trained to have fun. My children have taught me how to have fun."
- BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF
Workaholics are brutal to themselves. In some instances, they're co-dependents and often will do anything to please the people they're working for.
- UNLOAD TOXIC PEOPLE, PLACES, HABITS, AND THINGS, INCLUDING -- IF NECESSARY -- YOUR JOB
Once you do this, you have room for the support system you need.
- FIND A WORTHY CAUSE OF SERVICE
Volunteer, but keep it in check.
- IF SOMETHING DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT, WALK AWAY
Many workaholics bury or second-guess their feelings and intuitions. Take time to get in touch with your feelings.
© Copyright 1999, The Atlanta Journal Constitution