My daily routine starts with my alarm going off at 6:00 am, an hour commute to work on a good day, an average of 9.0 hours of real work and an hour drive back home. Sometimes I sit in traffic, thinking of how old I am, imagining how much time I have before retirement and how long I can be able to keep up with this routine. Like many of you out there, there are days I log out from my computer in anger because I have had a long and tiring day, just to get home to continue working from where I stopped.
According to Harvard Business School survey, 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week, and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week. It is no secret how damaging this work style could be to our personal lives; mentally, our relationships, friendships, you know it all. There are days I have gone without lunch or just sat on my desk choking on my lunch while working like there is no tomorrow. For a long time, I thought I was merely working hard to achieve my work goals, which is, in fact, a lie because, I am a WORKAHOLIC.
I always dread Mondays and will lay in bed on Sunday nights wishing Monday never came. This recurring Sunday thoughts made me into believing I am not a workaholic. How can a workaholic dread Mondays. What I ignored were facts that proved I am one.
- Every night before I go to sleep, I would try to recollect where I left off at work and in my head draw a work-flow plan for the next day. Tell me why I won’t just go to sleep peacefully.
- When morning comes, I will wish I could get to work as early as possible to cover a good chunk of my work before others come in. Why can’t I just thank God for a new day and get ready to brace my rough commute to work?
- At work, I will sit at my desk all day, get up only when necessary like a bathroom , water and sometimes lunch breaks. To me a minute spent chit-chatting will never be regained. Come on life is not that difficult. Why can I not understand that?
There are days I have sat at my desk all day and forgot about lunch (today is an example) or some days I have gone into the break room, grabbed my lunch and ran back to my desk. I need to evaluate how much I have achieved from this habit. On days I have taken lunch, I won’t stop looking at my watch making sure I do not exceed 30 minutes of break time.
You may be wondering why I am so hard on myself. Yesterday, I came back from work and crashed. I woke up this morning, took a look at my past days and realized for the last two weeks I have barely had time for myself during the day. I have had no breaks, no lunch or snacks only, and sometimes no dinner because I am so exhausted and all I care about is going straight to sleep. Like most people, I also have a life-after-work. So putting together my entire daily routine, starting my day at 6:00 am and sometimes ending as late as 00:00 am is a KILLER.
In a bid to secure my source of income and live a decent life, I have considered a lifestyle change. If you fit in my shoes, we can do this together and hold each other’s hand as we walk this trail.
Perfectionist – As someone who strives for perfection, I am learning to understand that, life cannot be as straight as a ruler. Along the lines, other things take priority in your life, and there needs to be a balance. If I continue to spend all the energy on my work-load, I won’t have any left for my personal life.
Break – Tell me why you should spend hours working without a break? That was a question to myself. The fact is, this can never be the best work habit because long hours of work results in poor productivity. Have you thought of the many errors you make when you try to finish up your work with an exhausted brain? How can you be productive on an empty stomach? I wonder why I never thought of all these. Take time off to talk with your colleagues, take a walk in or outside of the building. Go on a vacation, take a road trip. Life is fun.
Change – I have had the same routine for years, and now I am starting to switch things up. Integrate some changes into your lifestyle. It could be from using different commute routes to doing a variety of other activities after work, or being flexible with your work style. Change! Change! Change!
Cut-off – Don’t carry it over. It is not an un-used vacation. Once you walk out of those office doors, walk out of work and walk into a new life. You’ll pick up from where you stopped on the next business day. If you have a routine that doesn’t seem to work at all, cut -it off. I will always say, don’t be afraid to start all over.
I am not in anyway saying, I won’t be a great employee, all I am working towards is making sure I am sane at all times in order to be productive in every aspect of life. I need a job, and I also need a personal life. These two must work together.
I hope this makes a difference.