Are You a Workaholic?

It’s not just hyperbole, it’s also a problem.

Are You a Workaholic?

Franchisees work a lot. In food service and retail industries their hours are long, work weeks can be six or even seven out of seven days, stocks and supplies need to be maintained and suppliers need to be paid. So where weekends are typically days of rest for most, it’s not for the franchisee.

That day of rest also never comes to workaholics. But where do you draw the line between working in a hectic industry and simply being a workaholic? After all, there’s always unfinished work; one more email to read and one more phone call to make that simply can’t wait until Monday.

Got F.O.M.O.?

Unlike busy franchisees, workaholics usually suffer from F.O.M.O. which stands for ‘fear of missing out’. These people are unable to disconnect themselves from their phones or their computers, Facebook, or Twitter. Ask yourself this:

“If your franchise was like a Formula 1 pit team, how successful do you think you would be? Would you be the team manager calmly orchestrating the events and directing others from the safety of the pit wall? Or would you be the one running round doing every job because only you can get it done properly, getting in everybody’s way, but feeling good about yourself because you’re always busy? Then does the car still go out late and with only three wheels?

The impact of busyness

Often, to workaholics business is all about busyness. But a common problem facing families is an absent husband or wife and dad or mom due to ‘workaholism’. While we all know in theory that it’s less time-consuming to work smarter rather than harder, the reality is we tend not to practice it.

When people start a business, there’s a real buzz from working for themselves and getting things off the ground. They run on high amounts of adrenaline, pumped up, working long hours and overcoming great challenges. Their destiny is in their own hands and they set off with a dream that inspires them.

Every win they make imprints on their subconscious mind linking working hard with success. In the early stages of becoming a franchisee, new owners have to work hard because there’s a whole system to learn and a whole lot of their money invested in making it work. These factors tend to breed the workaholic.

Just like an alcoholic, business owners keep doing what they know is bad for them. The last person to realise what is happening is the person with the problem. Like an alcoholic, it’s the people around them, like their families, that suffer the most. They get neglected, friends become acquaintances and their staff members, if they have any, are often driven away if they too aren’t workaholics.

The signs are quite clear, but if you need help to see them ask someone else who’s close to you to be brutally honest.

Hello, I’m a workaholic

The steps are similar to addressing any addiction. The first step is to become aware you are a workaholic. Then repeat after me: “My name is ‘so and so’ and I am a workaholic.”

Once you have accepted you have a problem, take ownership of the situation. Realise that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you will keep getting what you always got – an unbalanced existence.

It takes 21 repititions to create a good habit and the longer you’ve been a workaholic, the longer it will take you to change your bad habits.

Get clear on what type of life you want to lead. Ask yourself how many hours per day, days per week and weeks per year you want to work. Plan out what needs to happen each quarter in order to reduce your work hours. Work out what you would rather be doing instead of working all the time?

This is really important because if you don’t have something you like better, you will continue working 24/7 and eventually burn out. Then start putting staff in place and delegating so that eventually you are working on the business and not in the business. Strive to be the Formula 1 team manager calmly orchestrating the events from the safety of the pit wall.

Top tips

What, me A workaholic?

Signs it’s time you need to chill out:

  • Your laptop goes on holiday with you
  • You can’t turn your cell phone off at night or on the weekends for fear of what you might miss
  • You struggle to sleep at night because you mind is turning over like the engine of a Formula 1 car
  • You don’t feel well, but a sick day in bed is not an option
  • You start things but leave them unfinished
  • You work late at night and/or during the weekends
  • You stand accused of not listening to other people
  • Even though the business is mature enough to employ staff, you’re convinced you can do it quicker and better.

Obtain balance

  • Honour yourself by setting realistic limits, managing your capacity, and saying “no.”
  • Create a self-care plan and stick to it. If you’re unhealthy, your business will be, also.
  • Simplify. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or provides satisfaction.
  • Don’t get consumed by your role as business owner. Step out of that role daily for ten minutes and focus on other roles like spouse, parent, or friend.
  • Stop taking yourself so seriously. Invest in your future by keeping yourself balanced, healthy and focused.
  • Be your biggest fan, not your own worst enemy.
  • Set boundaries and enforce them. If you reply to emails at 2am, you’ll receive them at 2am.
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