5 Ways I’m Curbing My Workaholic Nature

I just realized, I’m a mild workaholic. I might even be a full-fledged workaholic… I have two main jobs. Well three…. I am an actress. I am an event planner’s assistant and I nanny. And then I have this blog, and I write and I do a bunch of other part time joby thingys. Ok, not just three.  So… the realization came just now as I was texting the mom I nanny for—Munchkin has today off of school, but she released me until the afternoon. My immediate response was to text my event planner to see if I could help her out with extra work.

And then it hit me. I’m a workaholic. I was up til 1:30 last night working. I was up at 7am to go to work yesterday. I work throughout the weekends. I am in constant contact with both bosses. Not to mention with the acting career I’m continually looking for auditions and classes to attend, and trying to network like crazy. In my down time, I go see shows—even though I enjoy them, its kind of part of my job to be up on what is out there and going on in the community…. Smoke is figuratively coming out of my ears as I’m typing this.

I’m a workaholic.

Question, what is the difference between someone who is passionate and loves their job and a workaholic? Its quite a fine line. I would tell you that I’m the passionate one, but sometimes, I truly feel the need, its almost an addiction to work.

I’ve been working since I was 13 doing babysitting, and my first real, on the books job, was when I was 17. My dad wouldn’t let me have a real job, I had to beg for one. This should have been a clue. Another clue was that in high school I wanted to be a part of EVERYTHING. I was the only person to graduate in my class in all four honor societies. I was in band, drama, newspaper, Spanish Club, competition forensics and debate. I wanted to take more art, and choir, and be in Student Government, but I couldn’t fit it in. I was actually disappointed that I couldn’t do more.

A day has 24 hours, and I usually spend 6-8 of those sleeping, but I swear sometimes I can squeeze 25 or even 26 hours out of a day. I don’t know how I do this other than telling myself that I can.

Then I find myself in crazy situations where I’ve booked myself solid for days, without a moment to eat, or pee, or breathe. Other times, like a few weeks ago, I go INSANE when I don’t have enough to do. I need constant activities, and in some light, entertainment. I can watch TV or a movie—although movies are hard… that is a lot of commitment to sitting for that long. And I live in NYC, I’d rather go see a play! But in these down times, I get super introspective and berate myself that I’m not doing enough. (Clare, seriously?!? By who’s standards?)This is the downside of the workaholic/passionate person lifestyle: feeling like I’m either doing way too much, or not even close to enough. That and not enough time for friends. I either have too much time or not enough.

I get overwhelmed by all the plays I haven’t seen, or books I haven’t read, or podcasts I haven’t listened to. Let alone the friends I haven’t seen in months who live less than 20 blocks from me. Let alone the things I need to do like cleaning my room! (Seriously, the stack of papers is STILL sitting there from September.)

I’m trying to make myself slow down. Here are my solutions—but please share yours in the comments!

  1. Carry a pen and paper, ALWAYS. It always seems like I think of blog ideas, or things I need to do, or calls I need to make when I’m on the subway, in the shower, or in down dog. NONE of these is a great place to get a mental reminder. I carry paper and jot it down, and then like my Lists Blog—I cross it off when I’m finished.
  2. I’m trying to spend more time IN down dog, the subway, or the shower. Ok, not literally, but I’m trying to give my brain more neutral time. The reason I remember things when I’m in those situations is because I shut my thoughts down temporarily, and those important things pop out.   Spending more time with my brain in neutral will help me refocus and remember. 
  3. LL talked about scheduling her life around the things she wanted to do in her Get Out of Your Own Way Blog and how she made it like an appointment in her life—which some things should be. I’m trying to actually schedule in my down time and a little bit of exercise time as well. (For those of you reading the Goals posts… you know I’m struggling with this!) By actually making myself take time to sit and do nothing, I’m letting my mind know it doesn’t always have to do. I’m also letting it rest. I can function on little sleep. I CAN’T function on little rest. My brain is very cloudy.
  4. This one is hard, but I’m trying to do no electronics 30 minutes before bed, as the light affects your ability to fall asleep http://legacy.kgw.com/story/news/investigations/2014/04/14/doctor-cell-phones-hurt-sleep-quality/12584984/#
  5. The exception to this is that I fall asleep to podcasts—this is great because it makes my brain shut off and listen to the podcast speakers—which are interesting but lull me to sleep, because I’m focused on those, not on the thoughts bouncing around in my brain.

I never thought I would be a woman who makes work come first. But I’m single with no kids (I think this is only partially to my busy lifestyle choices and my work ethic). I don’t think that I’m missing anything in my life, per se however, I do admire and feel a tinge of jealousy for those friends who seem to have more down time in their life or get to do more fun things like travel or hang with friends more.

This is going to take baby steps, especially since my first reaction today to my little bit of time off was to work more and my SECOND was to write a blog about it. Old habits are hard to break. I think I’ll go watch an episode of Castle now.



One thought on “5 Ways I’m Curbing My Workaholic Nature

  1. Pingback: Celebrating National Lazy Day | Live ClareLesley

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