10 Signs Your Job Is Consuming Your Life

Having a full-time job is a necessity for most financially independent adults, and while this means that we spend a significant amount of our lives working, it doesn’t mean that our jobs should consume the entirety of our lives. It’s time to reexamine how much of an impact your job really has on you if these things are a bit too relatable.

  1. You stress about work even when you’re not working. If you leave work without feeling like you’ve really left work, it’s time to take a deep breath and focus on actively enjoying your time away from your job. While working late is sometimes necessary and intense projects can’t always be shrugged off the moment you walk out the door, it’s a bad sign if you feel like your mind never leaves work even when your body is sitting on the couch at home.
  2. You feel guilty when you have any time off. You should be able to rest up on sick days and enjoy your vacation days without feeling like you’re throwing your boss and co-workers to the wolves. Giving yourself time off is healthy, but in order to make the most of it, you need to truly be off when you’re not at work. If your work environment doesn’t let you feel rested when you’re away from the office, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing for money.
  3. You constantly feel like you’re letting your boss down. A good boss can make the difference between a healthy and toxic work environment. If you’re meeting your quotas and deadlines and you still get the impression that it’s not enough for your superiors, ask yourself if there’s any amount of work you could do that would satisfy them or if you’d be better off elsewhere.
  4. You never feel caught up on your to-do list. It’s not that you should go to work and have nothing to do — you just shouldn’t feel like you can’t escape a never-ending pile of tasks. Having a lot of work isn’t abnormal, but feeling like you’re constantly drowning in papers and projects with no end in sight isn’t a good way to live or work.
  5. You answer emails when you’re supposed to be relaxing. Yes, work emails still qualify as “work.” Don’t be That Person sitting on the beach staring at his inbox instead of the waves. Your downtime is valuable, and you’re cheating yourself out of good mental health if you’re focusing on work just because it’s accessible on your phone instead of letting your brain take a breather.
  6. You skip out on other important life events for the sake of work. Being there for the birth of your child is more important than work. Attending a loved one’s funeral or wedding is more important than work. There are so many moments in life that are more important than work, and while you’ll have to likely make some sacrifices in order to make money and keep your job, there are many milestones that are worth more than any paycheck.
  7. Your job is the number one priority in your life. If your wife is threatening divorce because work has left you with no time for your family, or you have no time for your kids or friends because you work every day of your life, take a step back and ask yourself what really matters. No job should have you sacrificing all the positive relationships in your life.
  8. Your job is affecting your health. Some professions will give you a backache and make you more susceptible to illnesses by default, but if you genuinely feel like your job is leading you to an early death, it’s time to find a new one. No matter how much money you make, you can never buy back lost time, and your friends and family would feel your absence far more profoundly than your employer would.
  9. You feel a deep dread when it’s time to go to work. Not wanting to go to work and dreading going to work are two very different sensations. Feeling all the enthusiasm for life drain from your being every day you wake up and have to get ready for work is a pretty big indicator that your job is a bit more soul-sucking than normal.
  10. You feel like you’re wasting your life working. Your job should be a part of your life, but it shouldn’t be your whole life. That nagging voice in the back of your mind that tells you that you’re going to have a lot of work-related regrets on your deathbed probably has a point. While you (obviously) shouldn’t quit working entirely, finding a different career or even a different place of employment within your industry can make a huge difference in how resentful you feel about your job.