In my previous posts, I’ve been asking if you might be a workaholic. How easy it is to get caught up in working long hours and obsessing about your job to the detriment of your health and home life.

Some businesses encourage overwork more than others. Start-up employees, self-employed professionals and lawyers typically work 60 hours or more a week.

Here is another example. Let’s say you’re already doing the work of two – or more – employees. What do you do when your boss starts to ask, “Oh, just one more thing…”?

Robert DiGiacomo of Monster.com suggests five ways to cope with the extra items on your list, without losing your cool or sense of well-being.

  1. Ask the Right Questions

Even if your work plate is full already, you want to avoid saying “no” when the boss approaches you with additional duties. Instead, engage in a dialogue about the specifics of the situation, asking questions about how long the new assignment will be and what is expected. Ask which of your other responsibilities should be assigned a lower priority because of the new task.

  1. Prioritize and Organize

Once you understand the scope of your expanded job description, ask the boss to help prioritize what must get done on a daily basis – and which projects can be deferred – and organize accordingly.

  1. Be Your Own Publicist

Be sure to speak up as you identify ways to streamline your department’s practices or improve the overall efficiency of operations. Do not be shy about how your contributions save time or money.

  1. Learn from Experiences

Share what you’ve learned taking on a new task or assignment. Ask for training if certain skills or a specialized certification can ease your ability to complete unfamiliar assignments, thereby demonstrating your commitment. The new skill set will help with job security if there is a round of job cuts.

  1. Take a Break

As you find yourself logging more hours, you need to take more – not fewer – breaks. Every 90 minutes or so, you should at least get up from your desk and stretch. Or better yet, take a 10-minute walk or grab coffee with a friend.

Ultimately, it is up to you to learn how to cope. You will be challenged to set boundaries, but nothing is more important if you want a career where you can grow and thrive. This is a key reason many people hire a coach as a guide to find the balance that is just right for their goals and purpose. What about you?

Some people live where they work. Others just visit.”  ~ Seanan McGuire, author

What do you do to keep healthy work/life boundaries? As always, I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

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