Workaholic… yes, I am one. And I’ll say it: My name is Dawn and I am a workaholic.
Just ask my husband. He comes home after work and is occasionally surprised to see me off the computer by 6:30-7:00pm, and wonders what’s wrong since that is so early.
Or ask my cat (really, it’s true).
By 7pm, she is sitting inches away at my face, staring at me as I type away, meowing every 30 seconds.
I suppose it’s her way of saying, “Enough. Shut it down.”
Other than my human and feline time clocks, it’s easy to fall prey to being a workaholic. There’s always one more project to get done, or one more reason to keep plowing ahead so there’s not as much of a traffic jam the next day.
But enough is enough.
My waistline was spreading (not a comfortable fact to admit), and in December 2013, I decided that something needed to be done.
I started going to a trainer, and FORCING myself to push away from my desk to quit being sedentary.
Ultimately, any kind of work/life balance comes to a narrow decision point… are you willing to commit to making a change?
Do you want to control work, or are you going to let it control you?
I mentioned my decision via Twitter, and several people responded asking me to write a blog post about how to come up with this balance.
And again, I point to the decision.
We allow ourselves to be sucked into the endless machinery of human productivity. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the heart of the matter is that productivity marches on, regardless of whether we are there or not.
And that’s the part I realized.
Sure, there’s always going to be one more project to do. Another client who has emailed after hours and is waiting for a response. Another phone call to make.
But the decision to be a workaholic is truly that: a decision. Or we can decide not to be a workaholic, and start making changes that gives us space to have fun, live life, share family time, or do something for ourselves.
So checking email constantly doesn’t do anything except rob us of our attention that would be otherwise directed elsewhere.
Or answering phone calls during dinner time with the family only steals away our sense of family.
Or staying late after work or thinking, “Just one more project… and I’ll be ahead for tomorrow” can slowly steal us from our health because we’ve sat on our butts for 10 hours a day.
It’s a choice.
Being a workaholic is not a job. It’s a choice.
And as someone once told me, “In 5-10 years, is anyone really going to care that you were such a workaholic?”
Good question. Puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
[Side note: Since I started focusing on having a work-life balance, I’ve lost 22 pounds and feel much more vitalized!]