I have a confession to make. My name is Caroline and I’m a workaholic. I try to pretend I don’t have a problem. I try to cover it up. But, in the end, I’m faced with the cold hard truth that I am a person who works too much. I even tried to take work with me on my honeymoon! (I got busted.)
Not only do I work too much, when I’m not working I’m thinking about working: How can I use this new idea to help my business and my clients’ businesses? How can I make this task simpler, less time consuming? How will that news story I just read impact small businesses? My mind is constantly clicking away.
Oh, I know I’m not alone. There are many other self-employed people in need of a 12-step program. In fact, another definition of workaholic might be “Self Employed.” When you’re self-employed, it’s hard to take a break. It’s not like you can punch the time clock and head home for the day. Your business is always with you, especially if your office is in your home.
I am very aware of the toll self-employment can take on a person’s life. But, I also know that like Stephen Covey says, you have to sharpen the saw. Trying to work when you’re overtired takes twice the effort for half the result.
So I like to think of it in terms of grammar school. You work really hard and then the bell rings and you get to go outside for RECESS! Take a walk or a run; play with your kids or your friends or your pets; change your perspective by hanging upside down on the jungle gym. When you go back to work, your mind and body are refreshed, you’re less stressed, and you’re better able to focus and be productive.
The brain only has the capacity to focus for 90 minutes at a stretch. Then, it needs to reboot. The most important thing to remember is… RIIIIINNNGGGG! Oops! Goody, I get to go play outside now, its RECESS time!
(Seriously, take a break. If you stop for ten minutes, the world will still keep turning. And you’ll be more productive and focused. Enjoy.)