Work can take over our lives if we let it, upping our stress levels and causing us to burn out while also taking a toll on our personal relationships. Setting firm boundaries, practicing self-compassion, and giving ourselves opportunities to relax and recharge can help.


Are you heading for a burnout at work? You may be falling into one of these self-sabotage traps, warns a new article from Harvard Business Review, which also provides some countermeasures to protect yourself.

The overly adaptable trap. Being adaptable and always willing to take on new responsibilities can be a positive, unless you overextend yourself. Being too much of a people-pleaser can lead you to sacrifice your own well-being simply to please others. It’s time to stop automatically saying “yes” to every new request. Start with low-stakes projects, and try to set better boundaries to project your recharge time.

The perfectionist trap. Setting high standards for yourself at work is important—but make sure they are attainable and don’t take over every other aspect of your life as well. Remember that nobody is perfect. Try being kind and forgiving to yourself.

The imposter syndrome trap. Starting a new role, getting a promotion or taking on a new project can make us feel like impostors—underqualified for the job and unworthy of the opportunity. To break free, start by recognizing these feelings of inadequacy and reframing your self-talk. Try to make self-compassion a habit, rather than focusing on self-criticism.

The over-engagement trap. Loving your job is a great thing, unless you begin focusing so much of your energy on work that you begin to sacrifice time the things that recharge you—time spent with family, exercise and sleep. Try setting clear boundaries around when you work and your down time, and maybe even consider taking up a hobby or two.

Source: “Is Self-Sabotage Burning You Out?” Harvard Business Review, Nov. 19, 2020


Hard work is key to job success, earning you praise and promotions. But some people take it too far, letting their dedication to work take over and sacrificing their well-being and personal life in the process. In short, they become workaholics. A recent article from Inverse offers some strategies for transforming those habits.

Recharge: Your brain needs time away from work to recharge the tank, so to speak. Unplugging and unwinding when you’re off the clock can help you replenish energy reserves to create a healthy work-life balance.

Set boundaries: Creating a clearer time to start and stop work is crucial to developing a sustainable routine. If you’re working from home, try also designating a specific workspace to help create that separation.

Talk it out: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help you learn how to turn negative emotional reactions to certain scenarios into more constructive and positive feelings. The process can also help pinpoint the root motivating factor behind your incessant need to work.

Source: “When does a hard worker become a workaholic?” Inverse, Nov. 21, 2020

Topics Leadership