Friday, April 23, 2010

Balance - How do you manage?

How do you find a balance between life and work?
Since I started graduated college almost 6 (wow, has it been that long?) years ago, I've had 3 jobs. I struggled with trying not to get too bored each day and feeling like I had an impact on the work that was being done. I used to wish that I could have more responsibility and that people would rely on me to help them get things done. I worked my 8 hours a day and didn't think twice about it.
As we all know, the recession has made everyone's job very difficult. You can't be picky about your job IF you have a job. And you're probably overloaded because some of your coworkers got laid off.
In December, my job changed as I was put in charge of something new in our department. All of a sudden I had to take on a leadership role (without extra pay or a promotion) doing something no one has any clue about. I've really struggled with how to pull this off when most of my coworkers hated the idea and constantly complained to me about it. I was trying to juggle my normal work along with this new job and it was becoming very overwhelming.

There are days when I cry as soon as I sit down in my car to drive home at night. Some days I come home with panic attacks and wonder how I can handle everything. I constantly dream about work and have a recurring nightmare where the pile of folders on my desk keeps getting higher and higher. I don't feel like I can take a day off of work because there is no one to cover for me and I know I'll come back to a huge mess. I get so burnt out and stressed that I don't know how to relax anymore.
I talked to another coworker who is struggling with the same thing and she reminded me how life is not about working. There are more important things than work and we have to remind ourselves of that. But it's really hard to leave work when you have a stack of work on your desk that HAS to get done by tomorrow.

So how do you find a balance between life and work when you have too many responsibilities?


  1. I left my job 2 months ago, not because I was overworked but because the environment was awful. I had an horrible boss that wouldn't communicate. She was so hands off it was detrimental to the entire dept. Lack of support combined with all those things just go to be too much. I had tried to find a new position for 2 years and decided to be happy rather than put up with it anymore. I'm working retail at a 45% cut in pay so we can at least pay our bills while I find a job. I haven't looked back once and have been happier than I've been in a long time.

    That's my experience. I was actually going to do a post today about time and how it seems I have less of it than when I worked 40 hours a week. Does your work offer an Employee Assistance Program? Ours used to work a lot on time balance and work stress issues. Do you feel comfortable talking to your boss about it?

  2. I am really sorry you have to be so stressed out on a daily basis. It's NOT good for you but you know this... I had a job once that I HATED. And because I hated it so much, that hatred carried over into my home life and that made me a pretty miserable person. But, I HAD to work. So I brushed off the old resume and promised myself that I'd send out X amount every week until I found something else... and I've been at that Something Else ever since. It's not roses here, but my sanity is in tact. And frankly, I like myself too much than to suffer the way I did at the old place.

    I hate to say it but maybe it's time to move on... You HAVE to be good to you!! <3

  3. This post has touched my heart because I feel the same way. I get in my car some times in the evening and scream. Just to let out the frustruation. Constantly at work I am thinking "i hate my job I hate this place. And like the previous poster stated this has indeed carried over to my home life. I am in the process of looking for something better. Its hard with the economy the way it is, but I know its gotta be out there some where.

  4. It's hard as HELL, honey. Basically, I said outloud one day, "Nothing is more important than my emotional and mental stability." It sounds silly, but it's true. If you can't function at home, you're not gonna function anywhere. When I've had too much at work, I put it down and walk away, and I DON'T let myself feel bad. Work will be there in the morning, but my own happiness and sanity is most important. It carries over into everything else. I know how hard it's been, but I really can't stress enough how important it is to put your work down and walk away.


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