Avoid Becoming a Workaholic

This is a video Brad and I have been meaning to shoot for a while. Since becoming a full time entrepreneur, I have repeatedly caught myself working just for the sake of working. “Busy work” as some people may call it. For whatever reason, I feel fearful when I stop working. It is almost as though my mind thinks I am going to fail in business if I don’t constantly work.

Obviously I did not start my own business to work around the clock but rather, to enjoy more of what life has to offer and enjoy the true freedom of being without the bounds of an employer.

While I feel I do a good job allocating lots of time for my family, I still work way more than I probably need to and I thought this video would be a great way to help others who experience the same thing.

Please leave your comments and thoughts about this subject because I am definitely open to advice. How do you avoid over working yourself? How do you promote balance in your life while still remaining productive in your business? I am excited to hear your input.

Enjoy the video:

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14 Responses to Avoid Becoming a Workaholic

  1. Shelly Sargent May 13, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Wow – great topic. No answers here either, but it is something we’ve been struggling with as well.

    For me personally, doggedly checking email takes on an almost OCD compulsion – as if not checking often enough will cause me to miss something critical to the day’s success. Having said that, I have learned that if I check, deal with pressing issues and then SHUT THE WINDOW DOWN, it is less intrusive than if I leave it open on my desktop all the time. Having to go to the trouble of loading my email program each time discourages over use. The same holds true of social media (also a big part of what we do at The Regional).

    To me, part of what makes a good entrepreneur (besides those bursts of brilliance) is that “dogged determination to accomplish our goal”. Perhaps what we all need to do is spend less time on the “dogged determination” and more time on the “accomplishing our goals” – if that makes any sense, lol!?

    • Justin Popovic May 13, 2010 at 8:38 am #

      I think we have struck a cord here with the email topic. I know Brad is one of the best I know at avoiding email overuse. Most of us check it way too often. I think the email topic is an entire series of blogposts on its own!

      Shutting down the email client is a great first step!

      You final statement does make sense. Working hard versus working smart. I think we sometimes don’t give ourselves enough credit regarding what we can accomplish in a short period of time. We “believe” that we need to allocate hours and hours of work to things that may only take 40 minutes of REAL work!

  2. Brad Gosse May 13, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    I think this video may have a larger appeal than we realize. I don’t think this affliction is only for entrepreneurs.

    I am considering adopting a one hour on one hour off approach to few days of the week and see what happens.

    • Justin Popovic May 13, 2010 at 8:46 am #

      I agree Brad. Everyone I have talked to so far seems to relate to this email epidemic and many people overall relate to the workaholic mentality. I am very interested to hear how things work for you in your experiment.

  3. Ted Payne May 13, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    Interesting video.

    I can totally see the issue with email Brad and Shelly later mentioned. I think the fact is when we are doing internet work – we are in front of the computer and there are so many “work” tasks that are like you guys said “busy work”.

    Checking email is a huge time killer. I have to turn my mail client off because if I don’t everytime i hear that incoming mail beep I check. Like a Pavlovian dog I swear. I know Tim Ferriss has a good outlook on email – I am trying to check it only twice a day – but when you have a free second it is hard to avoid checking it.

    Analytics are another big one for me – I am constantly checking that for a number of sites.

    Great video guys!

    • Justin Popovic May 13, 2010 at 8:50 am #

      Tim Ferriss has a good “Outlook” on email??????????? LOL

      Good call though Ted. I love the pavlovian dog reference because that is honestly the best analogy you can use to describe the email problem. Checking email twice a day would be a good way for me to gradually break the habit without shocking my system and going to only 3 times per week like Brad. I think I need to evolve to that level slowly

  4. jeff kralka May 16, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Great video. Just like Brad said, it’s all about being away from the rigamarole. My best ideas always come outside of work. I read a book once about the great thinkers throughout history, and one thing they all had in common was that they all took time out to day dream. It’s about activating the right side of your brain, letting it all go. To work is good, but a relaxed mind will always propagate new ideas.

    • Justin Popovic May 17, 2010 at 6:40 am #

      Awesome comment Jeff. I have also heard this message about having a relaxed mind but I can honestly say I have not really done a good job embracing it. It definitely makes a lot of sense and it promotes a more balanced approach to life.

  5. Debra Kralka May 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    I’ll often think “I should go and do some work” when all I have is busy work, but I usually, without a second thought, end up doing a leisure activity…probably since I crave leisure. But that’s a totally different topic now…

    • Justin Popovic May 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

      That’s great Debra. Sounds like you have figured out a nice balance in your life which is very admirable!

  6. Stan Young June 2, 2010 at 1:58 am #

    Another great topic. Unforchanately I cant provide any solution.
    I work for an an organisation where if you dont respond to an email within 2 to 3 hours people get enoyed and expect a instant response. Nothwith standing this I think it is still possible to manage expections and let people know your timeframes for response to non urgent items. Surely urgent stuff can be dealt with over the phone?
    Any ways what the hell did we do before E-mail? Heaven forbid we might of even stuck our head over a petition and engaged in some meaninful discussion.
    Yes your right many of us spend time on stuff that makes us look busy the only differnce is that when you are an Entrepreneur their is a higher degree of scruitiny to get results other wise you wont eat for the month or you could get turfed out of your house!
    Work life balance is tough subject. Another great video.

    • Justin Popovic June 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

      Stan, you’re right. WIth all the connectivity we have these days, pressure is higher than ever to respond to all the demands being put on us. The natural thing for most people is to work longer and harder. That is why we wanted to discuss this. It is more difficult if you have a full time job but if you are an entrepreneur you at least control your hours and you can build in time to unplug and disconnect. The challenge is to make sure you do it!

  7. Tina McGregor June 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Great Topic

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