6 Signs You Work Too Much and Need to Get a Life When your passion is boring everyone else trying to enjoy their weekend, it's time to get a hobby.

By Jacqueline Whitmore

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


In an age where the business culture is very competitive, being hardworking and dedicated are necessary qualities for you to remain in business. In fact, these are expected behaviors. However, it is important that you know where to draw the line, bearing in mind that your work can easily consume you.

Here is a list of six signs that indicate you are giving way too much of yourself to your job.

1. When free time becomes a foreign concept.

Although you may be so involved with your work that you have little spare time available, your job should not consume you to the extent that you have no time for anything else. If you can't remember the last time you met up with family or friends, watched an interesting movie, went shopping or did anything that was not work related, this is a key indicator that your job is taking over and it's time to get a life.

Related: An Entrepreneur Reflects on Free Time Now That His Kids, and Business, Are Grown Up

2. When you carry the load alone.

If you are a perfectionist, you may have a natural need to ensure that everything that you are even remotely involved in is perfectly done. However, this tendency should not be so pronounced that the entire burden is left on you. Remember, you do not possess super powers; you cannot do it all alone. Even if you can, you shouldn't be expected to. That's what freelancers are for and why you put other people on the payroll.

3. When all your aspirations are job related.

While having lofty career goals may be quite admirable, they should not be the only things you hope to achieve. Try to create a balance including family, interests and altruism; the future should reflect more than just reaching the pinnacle of your career. When someone asks you about future aspirations and the only answers you come up with are work related, you are obviously giving too much to your job.

Related: 7 Hobbies That Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur

4. When your mind is always in work mode.

You can take some people out of the office but it's impossible to take the office out of them. Of course there are instances where taking extra work home may be necessary, but it isn't good to constantly obsess about reports to get done, presentations to prepare, or plans you need to make for an upcoming project. If your mind or body are always working – even at home – it's a sign that you have crossed the line.

5. When work is all you talk about.

It is quite acceptable for you to talk about your job from time to time; however, it becomes a problem when work is the only thing you talk about. Remember the proverb "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?" If, when in the company of family and friends, work is the only thing you can talk about, it is a sure sign you are giving too much to your job.

Related: 5 Things Warren Buffett Does After Work

6. When work impacts your entire life.

While your career makes up a major part of who you are, it should never be the only thing that defines you. Your interests should not be bound within the confines of your job. Find activities and hobbies outside of work that bring you pleasure. If your work defines every decision you make or determines how you react in each situation, it is time to revisit how much you are giving to your job.

Far too many entrepreneurs find their lives consumed by their jobs. If you are to the point when you can think of or do anything else, it is time to hire and delegate. You'll be happier and healthier when you create a life for yourself outside of work.

Wavy Line
Jacqueline Whitmore

Author, Business Etiquette Expert and Founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach

Jacqueline Whitmore is an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach in Palm Beach, Fla. She is the author of Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals (St. Martin's Press, 2011) and Business Class: Etiquette Essentials for Success at Work (St. Martin's Press, 2005).

Editor's Pick

A Leader's Most Powerful Tool Is Executive Capital. Here's What It Is — and How to Earn It.
One Man's Casual Side Hustle Became an International Phenomenon — And It's on Track to See $15 Million in Revenue This Year
3 Reasons to Keep Posting on LinkedIn, Even If Nobody Is Engaging With You
Why a Strong Chief Financial Officer Is Crucial for Your Franchise — and What to Look for When Hiring One

Related Topics

Business News

7 of the 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in the U.S. Are in One State

A new report by U.S. News found that San Diego is the most expensive city to live in for 2023-2024, followed by Los Angeles. New York City didn't even rank in the top 10.

Business News

More Americans Are Retiring Abroad, Without a Massive Nest Egg — Here's How They Made the Leap

About 450,000 people received their social security benefits outside the U.S. at the end of 2021, up from 307,000 in 2008, according to the Social Security Administration.

Business News

Lululemon Employees Say They Were Fired for Trying to Stop Shoplifters

Two Georgia women say Lululemon fired them without severance for trying to get thieves out of the store.

Business News

Woman Ties the Knot at White Castle Almost 30 Years After the Chain Gave Her Free Food as a Homeless Teen

Jamie West was just 12 years old when she ran away from the foster care system.

Business News

New York Lawyer Uses ChatGPT to Create Legal Brief, Cites 6 'Bogus' Cases: 'The Court Is Presented With an Unprecedented Circumstance'

The lawyer, who has 30 years of experience, said it was the first time he used the tool for "research" and was "unaware of the possibility that its content could be false."