I know I’ve been focusing a little too hard on work when I start dreaming about work stuff.
I was tiptoeing close to the edge of doing too much just before my vacation, working a half hour or an hour extra most days just to have a clean slate when I left, shortening my lunch break. I had some of those tasks where I’d need some uninterrupted time and a fresh brain to get them done to my usual standards. I usually reserve some time in the mornings for that, but I wasn’t getting it – every morning, it seemed, something else was more urgent, and those undone tasks kept following me around all the way into my dreaming hours.
I got a little cranky at home, and I probably fell into the trap of whining at work about how much I have to do (if I did, my coworkers were kind enough to ignore me).
But you know what? The pressure was coming from inside the house. I could have delegated the urgent things or clarified whether they really were that urgent. I could have canceled some meetings to clear up time to work on the stuff that had to get done. I could have pushed some of those deadlines back, even if there would have been minor consequences. I did none of those things, because I was too close to the problem of those undone things and too invested in solving that to check whether I was solving the right problem.
I came back from vacation with a renewed commitment to maintaining my work-life balance – and promptly skipped half my lunch break on the first day. It’s a work in progress.