The thing about us workaholics is that we don’t do things in moderation. I suppose that can be said for any person with an addiction. Just as a juggler who takes on too many balls will eventually drop them, so too will a person who takes on too many projects eventually begin to drop them as well. We can only do so much. Attention is a finite thing, and if we expend it all trying to do everything for everyone, well, then what is left for us?
“Women who work outside the house aren’t the only women who are obsessed with work. Women who are home full-time rarely have time for themselves and their creative projects. After all, children are twenty-four hours a day and the house is twenty-four hours a day. There is always something to do.
Our greatest skill is not perhaps in getting things done, it may be in juggling projects so it looks like we are getting things done, so that we feel better. Watch out! Juggling projects is one of the symptoms of the workaholic. Instead of paring down the projects to those that can reasonably be done, the workaholic tries to do it all.”
Again, Anne speaks such truths. I find myself doing this at work often. I juggle projects to appear as if I am doing so much. My constant nose-to-the-grindstone attitude does not go unnoticed either. People often comment on how much I seem to do, that I am always working so hard. Really though, this is just a symptom of my workaholism. Rather than focus only on what can reasonably be done, I would accept every task given to me. I am still dealing with the fallout of this behavior, despite my ongoing effort to learn to say no to people and pare down my workload. As of late, I often find myself removing the unimportant tasks from my to do list and saying no to more meetings, people and requests in an effort to minimize the number of projects I’m juggling. This frees my time to focus on the essential, those high-priority items that really move the needle.
In my personal life, I have been making more time for my creative projects on the weekends and during the evenings after work. There was a time not long ago I once spent every minute of free time on errands, chores, and housework. What a depressing way to live. Not doing anything fun or creative for myself sucked the joy out of my life, and every day felt as though all I did was work—because it was true! I did! I make time every day for myself now, whether it’s to write this blog, exercise, read a book, or do a craft. My husband and I play board games often, several times a night sometimes, and when we aren’t doing that, we are playing video games. My life has become quite fun and enjoyable actually. I feel much more like myself, and no longer are my days just about work. I am learning slowly to set down the extra and only juggle that which I can handle.