Our world has increased its speed.
Everything seems to be happening faster because information is being delivered to us in seconds, not minutes. We learn about events as they’re happening, not the next day.
As a result, we often think we have to produce at the same level of speed.
Because of that, we start to spend more than 8 hours working, hoping that we will somehow match the speed of the Internet and stay ahead of the game.
It’s a fool’s errand.
Workaholics in 2014
This article in Smashing Magazine illustrates the pitfalls in their post, “Dealing With Workaholism on Web Teams.” It’s worth reading.
The article points out one of the most common traits in workaholics: personal insecurity.
It comes in various forms – low-self esteem, antagonism, authoritarianism, severe fear of failure, and perfectionism.
I’ve worked with a few workaholic bosses in my life. It sucked. Just because they were fine abandoning any semblance of a personal life didn’t mean I wanted the same. But because it was my job, I did what I had to do to keep the peace.
The Internet has blurred the lines between the personal and professional. People tweet about their business long after dinnertime. Business emails are exchanged in the wee hours of the morning. And weekends are often interrupted with questions that need answers.
Carve out time in the day to rest and relax
Although it’s exciting to be an entrepreneur and build your business, you need to find the time to relax and recharge your batteries.
You also need to stand your ground on when you’ll work and the definition of what circumstance will propel you to work overtime. Sometimes you can push back and ask if an aggressive deadline truly is written in stone.
Other times you can politely let your boss know that you don’t respond to emails on the weekend unless it’s a emergency. Then clearly define what constitutes an emergency.
I will often work on Saturdays during the colder months but once spring and summer come around, I try to keep my weekends for myself and my husband. And I don’t reply to business emails on a Sunday.
Much has been said about having a “work-life balance.” Many organizations proclaim they do this but then when a workaholic boss is thrown their way, all bets are off.
Working with online teams that are global can present its own set of challenges. Making a team member’s time zone clear can help with the expectations.
You are still the boss
You are the boss of you. No matter if you work for someone else or yourself, it’s still up to you to set boundaries. Working it out with your employer may take some finesse, but it’s vital if you hope to lead a balanced life.
Because if you don’t set the boundaries, you’ll constantly be at the mercy of whatever your boss or department head dictates. You’ll quickly become over-worked, which leads to burn-out, which leads to a lack of creativity and productivity in the long run.
There have been many times when I’ve wanted to keep going with my work because I love it so much.
However, I realized that I have this amazing man for a husband and he needs my attention, too. I also have personal goals I’d like to reach such as staying fit and healthy and pursuing other creative ventures such as digital art and cycling.
My favorite part of Smashing Magazine’s article is at the end when they talk about fighting workaholism. The first thing is to identify it. Then reject it. Every day.
Finally, avoid working for people who work this way. Believe me, you’ll save yourself a lot of misery and in the end, be healthier for it. Working hard is admirable, but working yourself out of a life… is not.