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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 Edited by Dan Bova

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.

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).

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