If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’m pretty obsessed with growth and challenge and transformation. I love to be learning and doing. The term, ‘workaholic’ has been floated in the past, and I don’t deny that part of me just loves to work, work, work.
Even when I do engage in activities that are supposedly about fun or relaxation, I seem to make this into work. Mr. G says it’s the 25% German in my blood. I’m all about the grind. If I’m not bettering myself or others, then I’m wasting my time. Ordnung baby!
I’ve always struggled to switch off from work, and this has become increasingly difficult for me since setting up my business, Skills with Frills. Aside from the fact that anyone would struggle with work/life balance upon establishing a new business, I’m actually facing a double conundrum in that my work is intertwined with Wellbeing. In short – when I’m practising or enjoy the things that I’d normally do to relax or wind down, I’m still working. When I’m practising a mindfulness meditation, I’m no longer just doing it for me, but thinking about how I can incorporate this into a lesson, or training course.
As my ‘me’ time has reduced, my stress and anxiety have been on the rise. Yesterday, things came to a head, perhaps helped along by some good old-fashioned female hormones.
After a rather teary outburst, Mr. G demanded that I take all day off.
I wasn’t allowed to read my book (‘Frazzled’, by Ruby Wax – too frazzled for ‘Frazzled?!’) or my magazine. I wasn’t allowed to blog. I wasn’t allowed to update social media. I wasn’t allowed to do anything related to work at all. No exceptions.
Side note: If you’re a workaholic like me, it really helps to have a friend or loved one nearby who can take on the drill instructor role. If left to my own devices, like all addicts, I’d make any excuse to return to my work.
I did attempt to make these excuses. I begged for just an hour at my laptop… but my drill instructor was strong. He wouldn’t back down.
So I played a horror game on the PS4 like a teenage boy.
And you know what? I forgot how much fun it was just to do something that’s only outcome was making you feel good. I didn’t improve myself, anyone around me or the world in general. I wasn’t productive. I ignored a ton of things that needed doing.
And it felt great!
Growth and challenge are awesome, but if that’s all you ever do, your batteries will run flat. And then you’ll be a crying heap of hormones…too frazzled to read ‘Frazzled’… mumbling to yourself like a lunatic about to-do lists and how much you need Prosecco.
Give yourself permission each day to pursue pleasure.
At least for 20 minutes a day. That’s not too much to ask is it? Aside from anything else, you’ll be more efficient at your work when your batteries are recharged.
Do you take time everyday to do things that are solely based on making you feel good? Or do you struggle with Germanic work-guilt like me? Comments welcome: