Losing the little things

How can you tell whether you’re working “too much”—so much that, sooner or later, it will start to affect your health?

One thing to look out for is the symptoms of burnout. For example, do you resent going to work each day? Have you been more forgetful than usual? Are you chronically cranky? If so, taking your foot off the gas pedal for a bit might be good for you.

Another thing to notice is whether you have some time for the little things. Can you prepare and eat a healthy breakfast without being pressed for time? Can you find the time to see your friends and your family? (Or do you struggle to let work go for long enough?) Could you go on a long weekend trip in the next month or two, if you wanted to?

They may not seem important, but the little things are an excellent indicator of the health of your relationship with your work. It isn’t uncommon to lose these little things slowly, especially if you get promoted at work and take on more responsibility (and more work hours). But the little things might disappear so slowly that you don’t even notice they’re gone unless you consciously pay attention to them.

Which little things do you wish you had time for?


— Peter

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