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Overworked

Updated on September 25, 2012

What day is it?

Easter's coming. I think. Apart from the buns I can't tell. I work six days every week; seven if I can get away with it. This makes each day pretty much like the next.

Weekends mean rising at seven instead of six. Public holidays mean my wife's home. Christmas means less traffic. Vacations come every few years and barely break my concentration.

Is it like this for you?

Paul Hassing avatar photo
Paul Hassing avatar photo

All work & no play

I'm writing this on a Saturday. As many of my clients enjoy their weekend, I can work without being bothered by work.

The sun is bright and the dogs are hopeful. But I'm hunched over my keyboard with a dull pain in my chest.

'Lunch', as usual, was a five-minute wolf.

I'm not unhappy. It took many years of intense effort to build my successful, home-based business. I'm very pleased and grateful. Yet I'm also rather cocooned here at Empire House.

No Friday drinks, no retirement dinners, no family picnics and no Christmas parties.

Though content in my company, I do feel a lack of community and structure.

A few months prior to my last vacation, I alerted my clients by email. This brought forward some projects, but I still took a big revenue hit.

I felt I'd paid for the trip twice: the opportunity cost mirrored the actual cost.

And because the break was my first for three years, it took me half the time to unwind enough to relax.

Even then, I still checked my emails.

For the vacation before that (almost last century) I handed the Empire to a brilliant, trusted colleague who ran it flawlessly.

So well in fact, that when I returned, some clients stated a preference for dealing with him!

Though I fully enjoy the benefits of running my own show, I know my work/life balance is out of whack. I'm unfit, overweight and highly strung.

I find it almost impossible to walk past my PC without checking my 'world'. My wife is trying to save me with swing dancing lessons and PC-free days.

But it's a struggle.

I do try. Yesterday I was told to expect a call about a 4000-page proofreading job (an intensely interesting and lucrative opportunity).

I waited several hours, then did the swim I promised I'd do.

The prospect called twice while I was in the water but didn't leave a message.

Now the job's going to a competitor.

In light of all this, I'm very keen to know how YOU handle time out and time off.

Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.

What do YOU think?

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    • PaulHassing LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Hassing 

      7 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Hi, Darcie. It sure seems to me like you work very hard. I hope it all pays off for you in the end. :)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 

      7 years ago

      Hi Paul, it seems we were born this way. Anything I've ever done, I put more than my 'all' into it. Something about undoing karma and not having to come back lol. But then I wonder if I'm just making more karma- because I know I could lay it down at any point, and nothing would really pass me, except perhaps duality.

    • PaulHassing LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Hassing 

      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi, Tipi! I'd got the impression you're a very hard worker. I certainly hope it all pays off for you as you thorougly deserve it. Best regards, P. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I sure hear you! I put in at least 10 hours every day of the week and don't know how to just walk by my computer. I think we're crazy....but in a good way, I hope. May we find a balance!

    • profile image

      Quirina 

      7 years ago

      @PaulHassing LM: Hi Paul, thank you for that lovely feedback, it made my day! I am glad you are not mad with me for painting that worst-case scenario. I do sincerely hope that you are not close to it. Just thought I should point out that this abyss exists at the far end of 'overworked', and that with a 'no swims' policy one MIGHT loose a lot more than just swims (using the swim you mentioned metaphorically). Hope you will find a work-leisure balance to make you feel entirely comfortable! Best wishes to you, as well as a Thank You for liking my lenses! :)

    • PaulHassing LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Hassing 

      7 years ago

      @Quirina: Thank you for your extraordinarily generous comment. I think it's one of the best I've ever had on a lens! Your words resonate strongly with me and I shall reflect on them at length. It's hard to argue with the powerful case you make, so thank you very much for making it. Best regards indeed. P. :)

    • profile image

      Quirina 

      7 years ago

      Well, you asked, and I am a renowned wisenheimer - so here we go: I seriously think you need to learn to unwind. That job going to a competitor means you gained time for taking more swims. Of course, without knowing your financial situation, this is easily said. But I think if you can at all afford losing a job now and then, you should accept for yourself that you cannot always be there for your clients. (If you strictly cannot afford losing a job, you should not go for swims - but I think that a life where swims are impossible needs to be reorganized.) I think that maintaining yourself in good shape is part of maintaining your business. What would happen to your business and your income if you got seriously ill from overwork? Recovery from clinical overwork conditions can take months... Of course there are very different conditions that you can get from chronic overwork... From experience, I can only speak about one of them, burnout syndrome. Having it makes you feel like crap. Believe me, not getting that is well worth some money.

    • PaulHassing LM profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Hassing 

      8 years ago

      @adamnrave: I think you're right, Ad. Which means I shouldn't really be here chatting with you! Step-two-three, back-two-three, side-two-three ... :)

    • profile image

      adamnrave 

      8 years ago

      I think you should pursue the swing dancing and PC-free days, amongst all else, like you wife says. Nice reflection though ... thanks.

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