Many of my clients are working too much!
It starts slowly… but too many female entrepreneurs are giving over too much of their private time, bit by bit… in exchange for long hours spent slaving over their clients, their computers or their social media profiles. This article is dedicated to self-discovery and to helping you set better boundaries in your business!
Are you a workaholic?
Bryan E. Robinson in his book, “Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them.” proposes a self-quiz to help you figure out where you score on the workaholic scale.
After answering the 25 question quiz, if you score in the lowest range, you are not considered a workaholic. You are probably a hard worker, but you needn’t worry that your work style will negatively affect yourself or others. If you score in the middle range, you’re considered mildly workaholic. With acceptance and modifications, you and your loved ones can prevent negative lasting effects of keeping up with those workaholic behaviors. Those who score in the upper range are considered highly workaholic which typically means you are headed toward burnout. And new research suggests that family members may be experiencing emotional repercussions as well.
[Tweet “Are you a #mompreneur-aholic? #WAHM #balance”]
So, what does this mean for us moms in business?
According to WebMD.com – Workaholism is just like any other form of addiction, and as such, workaholism can have significant health consequences. Workaholism contributes to burn-out, anger, depression, anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches.
- Are you spending more and more time in the office?
- Have you given up on hobbies and leisure activities you once enjoyed because you’re constantly working?
- Do you throw yourself into your job to avoid issues in your personal life?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you’ve just confirmed what you probably already knew to be true: You’re showing signs of being a workaholic.
Signs You’re A Workaholic
In 2012, researchers from Norway’s University of Bergen (UiB) and the United Kingdom’s Nottingham Trent University developed the Bergen Work Addiction Scale, a simple test to determine an employee’s level of work addiction. The test asks workers to rate the following seven work habits on a scale of 1 (“never”) to 5 (“always”).
- You think of how you can free up more time to work.
- You spend much more time working than initially intended.
- You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression.
- You have been told by others to cut down on work but haven’t listened to them.
- You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.
- You deprioritise hobbies, leisure activities and exercise because of your work.
- You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.
Answering “often” (4) or “always” (5) to four or more of the seven criteria may indicate “workaholism,” a problem that’s growing among employees around the world.
[Tweet “7 Signs You’re a Workaholic! #mompreneur #business”]
As mompreneurs, blending part time work hours and juggling all the home and the lion’s share of the family-rearing responsibilities, we’ve blurred boundaries between work and private life…. and are largely becoming the new leaders in work addiction.
In addition to the health-related results we can note an extreme affect on family life.
Are you ignoring these signs?
Does constant work make you feel satisfied and fulfilled?
Or, do you have a balance between work and time with your family?
Do you rely on work to provide stability?
Are you able to define boundaries between your work and personal lives?
If your business always takes precedence, you and your family will suffer negative consequences of workaholism.
Hold Your Boundaries Strongly
The key is to start redefining and HOLDING strong to your boundaries. People with a good work-life balance define strong boundaries between their work and personal lives. They have crystal clear rules about what they will and will not tolerate; what is okay and what is not okay with them, and they clearly represent that in the world.
Following these expert tips will help you cut back on the negative impacts of workaholism.
Emphasize at least two non-work priorities. When you’re a workaholic, everything else takes a back seat to your job. But are you making work your top priority to avoid areas of your personal life where you don’t feel as confident? Sometimes workaholics are often so good at what they do professionally that they may increasingly avoid roles and situations where they are not as successful, such as their families and other aspects of their personal lives.
Identify at least two specific non-work priorities you’d like to focus on right now. Create a real, attainable and desired goal (that you’re willing to work toward), and schedule time for this as you would a work-related activity.
Define your non-negotiables, then structure your personal or downtime into a calendar. It doesn’t work to just schedule time, – it only works if you exercise the discipline to stick to that schedule. So, schedule a date night, a yoga class and a family day, event or past time – and hold it!
Create a schedule that includes downtime — and stick to it. The ability to stay connected 24-7 has turned many employees into workaholics. Instead of using that connectedness to constantly work, you can use it to schedule your time wisely and give yourself a chance for a break.
Flip the equation: Use discipline and structure (typically exercised as work traits) rather as tools to create a more balanced life.
Take short breaks. On days when you simply can’t avoid working long hours, make it a priority to take breaks, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Being able to step away from your desk or leave your smartphone behind for a short period of time can help keep you focused on your tasks and get them done more efficiently. Research [from Stanford] shows walking boosts creative inspiration. If possible, take a stroll around the block during your lunch break. You’ll come back energized and ready to tackle your work with a fresh perspective.
Remove Future Regrets. One other way to help you manage workaholism in your business is to simply ask yourself, what (if not done today) will you regret in 10 years? Likely – you’ll feel more regret for things, events and opportunities missed on the personal side of the equation, over letting down a client, or saying no to that out of town speaking opportunity! The internal motivation that tugs at your heartstrings and mind will be the key to helping you address workaholism in your business.
If you’re struggling with running a business and making room for life, I can help. I have programs created just for busy, overwhelmed entrepreneurs that will help you strategize, systematize and simplify to create more time for living. Schedule your complimentary Discovery Call RIGHT NOW, let me help you get back in the driver’s seat!