Keep chronic workaholics at bay: Ten tips for 2012

Chronic workaholics have become part of my life. Some influence  me and several are in constant recovery mode. One just started living on a boathouse hoping that the sound of ripples will ease the impact of work-related stress.

In 2012, I want all my friends to stay away from work-related stress. Our collective workaholism will have no impact on  our already stressed, chronically exploited, seven billion plus Planet Earth. So, here are 10 tips to maintain a safe distance from friends, co-workers, bosses, family members, insane relatives and employers who want to make you do more at any cost.

  1. Learn to say the 2-letter word we seldom say: NO. To your manager, to your nagging friend, to your employer for demands that extend beyond your work day.
  2. Consider work as an eight-hour fun ride. Plan well, be shrewd and look for stars beyond sunset and not project deadlines.
  3. Outdo your employer’s expectations every day.  Be creative and you can get it done.
  4. Network. Find friends outside your profession and learn new things after work. Develop a business plan for a new venture that you like and always have a Plan B and a solid exit strategy.
  5. Join an association that has ties to your profession or volunteer at a civic group. Make sure it’s interesting and fun to do.
  6. Check if the sky is still blue- at least once a day. This will remind you that there are better things in life than work, bosses, co-workers, projects, deadlines, social media sites and electronic gadgets. Make sure you exercise and  just 30 minutes is fine.
  7. Find “me time” at least once a week. This will get you a greater return than your paycheck in the long run.
  8. Wind down on Fridays. This is a must-do and  make it a point to have fun.
  9. “Be present,” with your family once you are at home. Don’t think of that last freaking email from your co-worker at 5 p.m. when your kid needs your attention. The rest can wait.
  10. Don’t waste money on self-help books. Learn to say NO and the world will take care of itself.

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