For years, the workaholic was praised as the epitome of success in the business world. Because the language of money is spoken 24/7, we suddenly felt that we must spend every waking moment chasing the dollar.
However, just like our bodies need a break from the daily activities to sleep, our minds need a break from task-oriented projects to seek happiness and entertainment. The term “workaholic” has become something of a badge of honor among entrepreneurs. Yet, once we gain perspective, we realized even though a person spent most of their waking hours working, they weren’t very productive.
Learn to be Productive
Why? Because, as it turns out, workaholics are the least-efficient workers. If you’re working a 12-hour day, then you don’t have to be efficient. You’ve got all day—or all night if necessary—to get your work accomplished. With no sense of urgency, you’re free to fritter your time away on office pools, Internet “research” and Facebook. You spend too much time micromanaging your staff and rethinking decisions you made two years ago.
Committing to a regular work schedule will not be easy. At first, you might find excuses to stay up late or work over. To fix this problem, schedule a reason to leave the office right at 5 or 6pm each day. It could be a kid’s sporting event, a doctor appointment, or any number of other reasons.
You will find that once you are able to step away from work, the things that you think need done immediately will suddenly be able to wait. Also, the pressure you will feel to get out of the door on time will help you get more accomplished during the day.
Not Just a Schedule Change
Breaking your workaholic habits doesn’t stop at limiting your work hours. We all know people who can’t make it through dinner without checking their phones, answering texts or replying to emails. (Heck, some of us are those people.)
If you start limiting the hours you work outside of the office, you’ll find that you enjoy the time spent outside of the office, and you’ll start putting your phone away for longer periods of time.
It all comes down to setting limits and enhancing your productivity. Neglecting your personal commitments in favor of wasting time in the office won’t help your business, and it sure won’t make you feel more fulfilled. Spending your workday crossing things off your to-do list means that you’re getting stuff done, and at the same time, you’re clearing your free time to have a personal life.