It’s eight o’clock at night on a nice summer day. Your kid wants to shoot some hoops with you in the driveway. Your spouse wants to take a nice walk. You’re only about 10 pages into that book you’ve been meaning to read and you still haven’t watched the last season of Game of Thrones. Yet, here you are, typing away at your laptop, finishing up some last-minute details for work.

Laptops and WIFI were supposed to lead to more freedom, but the result seems to be more work. The day’s of punching out and forgetting about work until punch-in time the next day have faded into the past.

The question becomes: is it worth it?

Your willingness to sacrifice your home life for work depends a lot on your situation. What’s more, it will change over your career, as your lifestyle changes. When you’re young and single, it’s easy to devote extra time to work. When you have a family, or other outside responsibilities, it gets much harder.

The key is figuring out the right mix for you. With that in mind, here are some things to consider:

Dangers of Multitasking

When you try to do a bunch of stuff at once, it’s hard to do any of it well. Take your work home, and it’s hard to get it done effectively. You’re surrounded by distractions. You’ll work slower and your quality will be diminished. Meanwhile, your home life will suffer as well. Consider whether you’d be better off heading in a half hour early in the morning, rather than trying to do anything at home.

Managing Deadlines

When determining whether to take work home, ask the question: is it necessary? If you have a deadline coming up, it might be worth it. However, if it’s just a normal day, if you’re just poking away at your typical workload, you might consider setting some boundaries.

Flexible…or Just Overworked

Everyone wants to be a team player. Your boss asks you to get something done. You want to be a sport, so you agree. But you have to remember: your boss will always want more.

Don’t let your desire to be seen as flexible turn you into a patsy. If you don’t draw a line, no one will do it for you.

Long Game

Careers unfold over a long period of time. Like pacing a marathon, you need to find a level of effort you can sustain over the long haul. Try to push too hard, and you’re liable to burn out. Meanwhile, if your workload makes trouble in your family life, you can suffer emotionally (not to mention the stress you’ll cause for those around you).

Don’t just go full speed until you crash. Figure out long-term goals and adjust your work-life balance around that target.

Setting Boundaries

If you decide you’ve been taking too much work home, you need to take steps to rectify the situation. Talk to your boss. Work out a schedule that you can keep up with for the foreseeable future.

Also, once you set your boundaries, stick with them. It’s up to you to defend your free time.

Finding a job that fits into your lifestyle is the key to long-term satisfaction. Working with a top-flight recruiting firm, like SmartTalent, will put you in the ideal position for your optimal career development.

Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.