It’s no secret that I love to work and I love this little job I’ve created for myself. Earlier in the week I got back from the Financial Blogger’s Conference, which is a really fun but also super important conference if you run a business that’s centered around acquiring clients like mine.
While at FinCon, I was surrounded by some of my favorite people, people who are also writers, creatives, and self-employed. Lots of us had to work while we were at the conference, and there were tables set up where people were getting a little work here and there done on their laptops in between sessions.
Then, at the very end of the conference, my friend and mentor Grant Baldwin gave a killer talk, the closing keynote.
He said, “Who you are is more important than what you do.”
Then, to the room full of hustlers, people who have side businesses outside of their real jobs, crazy night owls who stay up to write just one more blog post, etc. etc. etc. —- he told us to stop telling everyone we were busy all the time. Being busy isn’t a trophy. Everyone is busy. And, do we really want our kids to say “My mom was the best blogger in the world” instead of “My mom was the best person in the world.”
It really hit home for me, and the whole conference and talk were just excellent.
My plate is certainly full, and I likely will still feel some sort of a time squeeze until we can get full time help for our kids, which will likely be next year. Although I do feel like I am a good person and my husband is an excellent person, maybe we can put a little bit more of a emphasis on expressing that and being extra kind to others as we navigate some hectic and busy waters over the next few months.
Here are a few ways I’m going to focus on not being a workaholic.
Get Up Earlier
I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m a night owl. So, I end up writing so late at night, which makes me really tired the next day. It takes time away from my husband, and since he has to be at the hospital at 5:30 in the morning, if I just get up and write earlier, I can have more of the evening to myself. This doesn’t make me work any less, per say, but it will help get my priorities straight.
Remember It’s Just a Blog
I tell myself and my coaching students this a lot, but really, this is just a blog. If something doesn’t get done, a tweet doesn’t get scheduled, comments weren’t made, a post isn’t perfect, it’s okay. It’s just a blog. Yes, it’s my bread and butter and the way I take care of my family but at the end of the day, no one is going to die if my post isn’t up in the morning.
Stop Wasting Time
I feel like I work a lot, but if I’m being honest I get sucked into the Internet black holes just like everyone else. The past few weeks, I installed a Facebook blocker on my browser. Every time I even try to go to Facebook, my computer yells at me. I check it on my phone every now and then but really, I don’t need to be on social media as much as I am unless it’s for work. I love social media so much – especially Instagram lately; however, cutting it out of my work day has really improved my time management.
Keep Family First
Way back when the twins were super tiny and I was just getting started being self employed, I tried to work while they were awake. I was stressed and really unhappy. I felt like a total failure. I decided to only work during the hours they were asleep. This was a huge change for me and it really improved my interaction with the kids. These days, I occasionally have to work when they are awake but I try to keep it to when they are eating in their high chairs or watching cartoons versus them being out and about in the living room playing. It’ll never be easy, but by keeping family first always, it will keep my workaholic tendencies in check.
Are you a workaholic? What ways do you try to combat it?
18 responses to “4 Ways to Avoid Being a Workaholic”
Man oh man, this post spoke STRAIGHT to me. I have been hustling like crazy in the evenings, and last night it sort of all came crashing down when my youngest was up all night coughing and sneezing. Then, this morning my oldest woke up with a high fever and threw up everywhere. I’m not feeling so hot myself, either. I have big plans to meet some huge goals, and I intend to, but not at the sacrifice of my family or our health! Life is too precious, and thank goodness we have our little ones to remind us of that daily 🙂
Also, thanks so much for the shout-out!! Really appreciate that! 🙂
One thing that’s always tough for me is that being busy sometimes becomes a hallmark of who we become. You have to be working hard, a hustler, a grinder, or whatever – because if you aren’t, you’re lazy. Smelling roses are for folks who aren’t ambitious or lack drive. It’s not that you have to be busy, it’s that not being busy means something else.
Breaking away from that mentality is tough… but sometimes you need to put it all in perspective by taking a break or letting off the gas.
I tried working when our kids were home too… NEVER WORKED. Looking back, I can’t believe I would even consider it. Now that time is play time and play time has some great restorative properties. 🙂
I think working when the family is sleeping is so important. My son is way to busy for me to expect a TV show to occupy him for more than 20-30 minutes, and I don’t want to sacrifice our precious evenings together, so early wake ups have become a fact of life in recent months. I still get enough sleep, but the early mornings are when I can work on my thing without sacrificing my family (or you know, my day job).
So I obviously don’t have kids, but I’m still a total workaholic. I try to set limits for myself and not look at work anymore once I’ve left my home office, but it can be so hard to ignore since I get the emails on my phone. Maybe I need to change the settings to sync to my phone less often so I’m not so tempted to work all the time.
This is something that I have been fighting with since I began my blog. Trying to balance a full time job, time with my wife and daughter, and doing other things I enjoy has been difficult. It all comes down to priorities and cutting out the unimportant things. Whenever I waste time on something unimportant, I am making the unconscious decision to not spend that time on something that matters more to me.
LOVE this post. Being a workaholic is something I used to really struggle with up until just a few months ago. Life is so much better now!
I see nothing wrong about being a workaholic as long as I have a work-life balance. Being so helps me get to do and finish lots of things earlier aside from work to enjoy the rest of the day.
“Being busy isn’t a trophy.” This has been a tough lesson for me to learn. Even though I changed careers to work less, I find myself falling back into old habits. I sort of think there are two types of people: those who really love to work and those who don’t. If you fall into the first category, work / life balance will probably be a lifelong challenge. But you’re totally right about setting boundaries and sticking to priorities. Thanks for this reminder!
I really loved his speech and I think it was perfect that it was at the end of the conference when I’m sure many of us were feeling, “OMG, I have SO much stuff to do when I get back home!” I know I did. I don’t know if I could ever really be a workaholic because if I get out of balance my brain and body respond quickly and very negatively. But I do get overwhelmed and stressed with all the thing I want to be doing but feel there is not enough time. But you’re right, the world will not fall apart if one post does not go up or one tweet goes out.
I definitely struggle with this. Part of me thinks NOW is the time to be a workaholic, as I don’t have kids and my wife has ~2 1/2 years of grad school left (assuming she doesn’t get her PHD or PSYD which is a big if). It’s almost ideal to really put in as much time and effort as possible right now to pursue side hustles & businesses and advance my career, with the “plan” of scaling back later on once I’ve set myself up nicely. It’s really something I struggle with!
I used to be so workaholic when I just became a father. I felt I had to do more to provide whatever needs my family would have. But, after some time, I forgot something-the time to enjoy and spend quality time with my family. I am glad that I recognized this earlier and now I know how to balance work and family. Happy that I did.
Hahah I love this post! I am trying so hard not to be this person. My family thinks I’m not dating because I’m basically dating my blog! oops 🙂
I couldn’t believe it when I read your post. I have been thinking about this so much lately, and couldn’t find a way to put it into words.
“Who you are is more important than what you do.” So true. So powerful. So worth remembering.
I especially like your tip about getting up earlier. This is hard to do, but the morning hours are precious time for uninterrupted work. Then, when the rest of the family gets up, you can focus on them completely.
I find myself wasting time under the guise of being productive. I really need to get to the point that I can outsource my social media marketing so I don’t get sucked into the vortex all the time.
I am without a doubt a workaholic and just had someone remind me of the importance of taking the time to enjoy the ride before the whole journey slips away. I am working on creating space in my life to truly enjoy it, but it’s definitely easier said than done. Fortunately I have a very forgiving group of family and friends.