Hi, I’m Anna and I’m workaholic. There I said it. So let’s open this can of worms, shall we?
There is a stigma around workaholism, and I think it’s time to lift that carpet up and see what is under it. The common misconception is that workaholics have no life: these ‘over-fatigued grey suited zombies’ have sacrificed their lives in the money-altar and have sold their souls for the top career-devil.
I’ve been a workaholic all my life and I feel no shame about that. The truth is that I feel at my best when I work hard, I feel alive, productive, creative and happy. More importantly I feel that I have a purpose. And there is really nothing wrong with that!
You might think that’s a contradiction to my beliefs and what I’ve been cheerleading the last few years on slow living, but for me these two life-styles can go hand in hand in this day and age.
Time to look into your ‘soul-mirror’
Let me ask you a question:
How do you feel when you have a really good day at work? Happy? Productive? Positive? Light on your feet? Feeling that you can rule the world?
Now, how do you feel when you have a really bad day at work? Like you’ve been hit by a truck? Uninspired? Unfulfilled? Want to quit? Hating your colleagues/boss/clients? Tired and had enough?
Does all this sound familiar? First off, you are not alone. Most of us, if not everyone has felt exactly the same. We all have our good days and our bad days, but now I’ll ask you to do some more thinking so go get a piece of paper ready and draw 3 columns.
So what happened on that good day at work? What made it successful? How much of it was because of your personal input and how much was external factors? I invite you to write everything down in the first column.
Now pick your ‘usual’ bad day at work and do the same, write down why it didn’t work for you. What happened that day? How much of why it went wrong, was your input and how much was external factors? Right everything down in the second column.
In order to see clearly what is happening and if there are any patterns on your work style you need to be brutally honest with yourself, so take a good look in that soul-mirror of yours.
Now use the third column and write down what can you do/change to have more of the first column. The good days. What behaviours can you change and what bad patterns can you break? If there are external factors, how can you avoid or protect yourself from those? If something is not working, most of the times there are ways you can make changes. Remember change doesn’t happen overnight, but changing tiny behavioural patterns or habits can go a long way!
What can you change?
Slow living and workaholism, can go hand in hand.
I did the same exercise and my result came back to one big issue which I struggle the most with: FOCUS.
When I take my eye off the ball, usually my day is doomed, but when I start my day with clear focus and intention and don’t allow anything to penetrate that, oh baby, I’m on a roll! There are so many external parameters that might influence my focus and make me lose track of my day’s ToDo lists. My role is to dodge those distractions anyway I can.
This is where slow living comes in. I’ve said it before, slow living is not about doing things slowly, but is about doing everything mindfully and with intention. It helped me over the past few years to identify and remove all the bad sources, influences and habits that I have accumulated over the years. It’s about taking a moment to think, plan, prioritise and setting my intention/goals for the day.
Go back to your lists, is there anything you can remove from ‘your bad day’ or any other things that can help you stay focused if you are struggling?
When we are focused, we produce, we complete, we achieve, and that makes us feel alive.
Workaholism is not a dirty word.
Working hard on something you love is a good thing. Be proud of what you do and work even harder to make it work for you the way that lights up your heart and fills your soul with happiness and fulfilment. There are always going to be bad days, let’s be realistic. Bad days are there to teach us things if we look closely enough, but also to make us appreciate even more the good days, just try your best to minimise the bad days. Find a way to turn most of your bad days into good days. There is always a way.
Much love to you,
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