The following is the fifth segment in a 13-part series based on the book, Divorce: It’s All About Control — How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, by renowned family law specialist and managing partner of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation in Los Angeles, Calif. This continuing series deals with one of the most destructive wars — the Internal Wars — and the Enemies Within, all of which can be just as devastating as the emotional, psychological and legal wars. The Internal Wars deal with “way too much” and “far too little,”— both of which can be vicious enemies. As I mentioned in the prior four segments which covered alcohol/drugs, over-spending, gambling and overeating, each one of the Internal Wars deals with self-abuse in one way or another. This segment highlights overworking.
Though some people find that throwing themselves into work is a wonderful and constructive remedy to stave off the divorce blues, it can also be damaging if it becomes “Way Too Much.” Naturally, I would rather see my clients put in too many hours at the office than to drink or to over-eat, but I am also fully aware that working too much can wreak havoc in one’s life.
Over-working robs you of achieving balance which is the most important goal any of us should have by far! If you find, for example, over-working means that you are neglecting the children and others close to you, or it precludes you from an active social life, if you are using work to escape (yes, it can be a drug!), or to avoid work that you need to do on yourself in the emotional or spiritual realms, then you have a War on your hands. Work may have been a major factor in your breakup and if so, you certainly do not want to repeat this same behavior—an isolating one—that will be off-putting to anyone new who may want to enter your life.
How can you tell if you are over-working? If your mantra is “I don’t have time for…” then you know you are over-working. This addiction can be just as bothersome as the others I mentioned for spending too muchtime on the job can become an obsession and a habit that is hard to break. Just as I have done before, I have put together a list of why you may want to take some of that energy used on “Way Too Much” on the job and divvy it up elsewhere. Here are my suggestions for why you may want to consider a change:
- I will miss out on a good portion of my children’s growing up.
- I will find it difficult to meet a potential new mate.
- I will not have time to work out at the gym.
- I may get tired of my job—burned out.
- I will miss out on “smelling the roses.”
- I will lose my creativity or passion for my work.
- I will not be able to play golf, see that new movie, or engage in some other enjoyable hobby or pastime.
- I may not be able to watch the sun come up or the sun go down.
- All work and no play, makes ____(your name here) a very dull boy/girl.
- My job will be in Control of my life and me.
What are your valid reasons why cutting back on the work week would be a very good idea? Write them down and review them every time you get the urge to work super late or on weekends.
Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Blank Rome LLP, which specializes in high-profile family law matters. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.