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Decades ago, the way we became more successful was to simply work more. The farmer who worked longer hours sold more crops and became more successful. The factory worker who worked harder, faster, and for longer hours made more products and received higher bonuses. Now, however, the work-life of the American people has totally changed. As a result, work methods have also transformed.

Now, the key to success is in effective time management. In the modern day American workplace, it isn’t about who can push the most pencils for the longest periods of time, it’s about who can arrive to the best solution in a short order of time.  The most successful entrepreneurs of the 21st century have been hard workers, yes, but they have been even harder thinkers.  Today, we are more likely to get a promotion from a good idea than from working longer hours and earning the title of, “Office Workaholic.” 

How to Improve on Your Work-Life Without Having to be a Workaholic

Being a workaholic won’t guarantee anything other than gradually grinding you down to a point where you collapse. As it is with any other addiction or bad habit, there is never a good end. A workaholic lifestyle has no long term future of success and longevity, even if it appears extremely successful at first. Listed below are a few tips that can lead to a more successful career and better life balance:

1.     Don’t work longer hours than your colleague

People who work very long hours don’t necessarily get more done than the worker who puts in a normal, forty-hour week. Work your forty hours and really apply yourself to excel. Be sure to give yourself some time to recharge and reboot at the end of the day though.

2.     Turn it off

When you come home from work, don’t keep working. Turn off the cell phone, the tablet, and the computer. Don’t give in to the temptation of checking your work e-mail, at least. We as individuals perform better when we live a life full of variety and change. If we work into the night from our homes we actually don’t accomplish as much as we think.  Those few hours we have before bed are crucial to letting us recharge and refresh our minds.

3.     Keep your body in tip top shape

Too often do those who want to climb the corporate ladder sacrifice good health and general wellness for the sake of longer work hours. The human body is a machine, and without proper rest, sustenance, and exercise it will not perform as well. This includes the focus and clarity of the mind. You will ultimately get more done if you make a point to take care of the fundamental rudiments of healthy living.

4.     Find happiness and energy in your relationships

A true sign of a workaholic is when happiness is sacrificed, to a degree, and relationships are affected. The various relationships in our lives bring energy and positivity to our mindsets. Overworking can strain this. In fact, according to divorce statistics, 55% of divorces have one or more of the spouses working over fifty-five hours a week. Happy relationships fuel the soul and provide incentive to be more productive when you are at work.

5.     Don’t tie your worth as an individual to your work success

Your career is just one aspect of your life. It is not even the most important one. The best way to get the most done in the shortest amount of time is to approach work like it is a game. Treat it like a game, and obstacles and barriers will fall by the wayside. Treat it like a difficult conquest and it will become overwhelming.

You might feel as though beating the competition is impossible unless you work more and give in to workaholic tendencies.  However, the key to happiness does not reside in working high hours. Working too long and running low on energy can actually be counter-productive. That’s why it’s important to recharge and focus on the end goals rather than the hours.

About the author:

Sean Morris is a former social worker turned stay-at-home dad. He knows what it’s like to juggle family and career. He did it for years until deciding to become a stay-at-home dad after the birth of his son. Though he loved his career in social work, he has found this additional time with his kids to be the most rewarding experience of his life. He began writing for to share his experiences and to help guide anyone struggling to find the best path for their life, career, and/or family.