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"Wanted: Shopaholic nosey parker with excellent observational skills, a good ear and flexible attitude to part-time work. Anyone can apply. Work available in all areas. Must be prepared to eat free meals, enjoy shopping discounts and visit pubs - and be paid for it."

Believe it or not, the above job advertisement is not as far fetched as it sounds. If you love shopping, you'll be pleased to hear that it's possible to shop for a living. In fact, it's a multi-million pound industry for market research companies who employ "mystery shoppers" to shop up and down the country - all in the name of customer service and research.

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If you visit one or two pubs in a night, you'll get your food and drink paid for, travel expenses and you'll be paid anything from £6.00 to £8.00 up for each visit.

But there is one problem with mystery shopping: truly dedicated shoppers never switch off from their work. You'll find yourself compulsively evaluating service and checking ceilings for cobwebs even when you're not on duty. It eventually becomes a part of your life.

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Overworked? - Are You Too Busy At Work?

By Guest Writer Deborah Brown

Are you doing too much at work? Do you find that your hours at work are causing you to eat more, exercise less, and watch your life pass by? Do you spend more time in the office than you do at home?

Do you wish there was a better way?

Working all the time prevents you from growing in other areas of your life. As a coach, I see single people that desperately want to get married but cannot find time to date. I see overweight people who cannot find time to go to the gym, or cook a healthy meal. I see men and women who cannot find time to spend with their kids because they have an important project that has to completed at work. They tell me if only they were not so busy, then they could have these things. Even still, they are unsure where to begin.

Yes, we need to work. (We have bills to pay!) But does it have to take away from our quality of life in the process?

So, What Can You Do? Follow These Easy Steps:

1. Acknowledge That You Are Doing Too Much.

Pretending that you do not have too much to do, or you have it all handled will only make the situation worse. You cannot address the problem and make it better until you admit what it is. Yes, this takes courage. You can do it!

2. Recognize What Working All The Time Costs You.

Working a lot can leave you feeling overwhelmed, tired, and unbalanced. In this mode, life is happening without you. The things you are responsible for in your life are important and I would never suggest that they should be ignored. But the person missing from this equation is you. Don't you think you deserve more?

3. Let Go Of The Past.

The reason you are staying in a situation that does not really work for you is your past telling you that you cannot do better. Poor decisions and perceived failures gave you a reason not to trust yourself anymore. Plus, excuses work in your life. They give you a reason not to go out and try (and possibly make another mistake) again. Let it go so you can create something better for yourself.

4. Discover That You Have Options.

You don't have to be unhappy at work no matter how shaky the economy is. Right now, there may be a 9 to 5 job that is in dire need of your skills. (It is possible!) Or, you may be able to work something out with your employer (or yourself) so you can have it all. You don't know how it will turn out until you try. Trying will show you that you are not stuck, and that you do have choices.

5. Find Ways To Take Care Of Yourself.

You body is an engine and can only work properly if it's maintained. If you are working all the time, then you are not spending enough quality time on you. What are some things that you used to enjoy doing in your spare time? Make time for those things. Rediscover your interests. If you do not, the only one you hurt is you.

6. Take The First Step.

Change starts with the first step. And, it is up to you to take it. How about leaving on time one day this week? Or, cooking a healthy meal tonight? Can you go the gym and stay for 15 minutes? The step you take does not have to be a big one. What matters is you are taking a step in a positive direction.

7. Reward Yourself For A Job Well Done.

It is not easy shifting yourself from being a person who takes care of others, to a person who takes care of you. Be proud of yourself! Not everyone looks at their life and puts actions in place so it can be better. Congratulations for being that person.

So, what will it be? You only have one life to live so it might as well be a life you love.

Please visit our next suggested page, "Teaching and Stress".

You can visit Deborah Brown's site at Surpassyourdreams.com, send an e-mail to info@surpassyourdreams.com or call (212) 586-0787

Please note that the information on this page is provided as a guide only to try and help deal with stress and the problems associated with it. It is not a complete guide and individuals must make their own decisions with regards to any action they take.

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An Ed-U-Kate production. This page was produced 27 April 2001 and last edited 9th June 2015.
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