Keep those Pesky Ants Away

I have shared previously that some of the best days I have are when I forget my phone at home. When I first realize it, I have a little “freak out fit,” and then I am Zen the rest of the time because I do not have to waste time and energy worrying about my damn phone.

I admire my husband as he does not have work email on his phone. Part of that is because he does not know how to incorporate it (wink!), and the other part is that he does not want to be thinking about work 24/7. Unfortunately, being a permanent work-from-home employee has made that boundary tougher for him.

We are responsible for how we spend our time and energy in and outside of work. During my career, I have struggled with that balance. My excuse has been that I work for the betterment of people and the community—can you then really work too much? Answer . . . yes.

The millennial generation gets a bad rap for supposedly “not wanting to work as hard.” I actually think they are far wiser by figuring out at an early age how they want to prioritize their time. There is a big difference between being lazy and having boundaries with your work. Check out these tips to get you started on reframing your work time to focus more on you.

Stop the ants in their tracks

Envision your personal time as your home. (Humor me here.) Then think of work as ants that are trying to infiltrate your home. What do you need to do to put them at bay? You know you need to stop those ants in their tracks, otherwise you’ll have a home infested with ants. When you start letting your guard down and that creepy ant shows up—assess, establish a plan and manage yourself. Address it before more start showing up.

Getting to the why

Ask yourself—why am I working so much? Does your boss work long hours and you feel that you have to too? Or do you feel a responsibility, perhaps brought on by yourself, as the one to ensure everything gets done. Get clear on why you are working so much. Identify those creepy ant thoughts and figure out how you’re going to get rid of them. 

You are replaceable 

Newsflash—you are replaceable. Sometimes our egos think we are the only ones who can save the world. As a result, we work hard, long hours and carry significant stress in our bodies. Work will always be there, and more than likely the place is not going to burn down if you take better care of you. There are many studies that tie an employee’s improved well-being to increased productivity in the workplace. The trick is to stop those ants in their tracks. No one likes a home infested with ants. ::

About Author

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Peggy is a mission-driven leader, entrepreneur, social explorer and advocate for all things moving women forward. She is currently employed with the American Cancer Society and is the founder of SheTaxi.

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