I was a workaholic long before I became a WordPress practitioner. Truth is – work is my drug. When nothing else is going right… when there are so many things I can’t control… work (and WordPress) gives me control and that makes me happy. OK – maybe I am a workaholic AND a control freak. But the truth is, neither of these things is particularly healthy.
That being said, it was wayyyy easier to control my workaholic tendencies when I had a REAL job (working for “the man”). When I was naturally confined by a normal 8-5 or 9-5 workday and a 5-day work week, it was much easier to justify leisure time, or at least work on “home” stuff that needed attention. Then I became my own boss and I am a bitch-boss and a slave-driver!
To be fair, much of my workaholic-ness these days is a result of my passion for helping people learn the stuff they need and want to know surrounding WordPress. I hated the corporate world and ultimately left because I needed to make a real difference. When I first left, the intent was all about developing WordPress websites and training for small businesses and now it’s helping other WordPress developers, designers, and agencies with project management. Because people have a need and I know I can help with all “the things,” I want to create it and get it out there as quickly as possible – so I’ve been working non-stop for nearly 3 years.
Even when I HAVE taken time off for vacations or to take care of things around the house, I was still checking email, signing in to a Facebook group, or checking my Twitter feed more times a day then I would like to admit. I can say, without question, I have not taken an entire weekend “off” in nearly 3 years.
Until this past weekend.
You see, there are some areas of my life that are in disarray – both physically and metaphysically. I recently began reading Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up for 2 reasons. First, because I live alone and am accountable to nobody regarding housework, it is often put off until last (or in more cases, never). Secondly, because none of my other efforts to “straighten out my life” had worked, I might was well try it. I mean, after all, I haven’t truly cleaned house in 6 months and if getting my living space in order will help other parts of my life become better aligned, I am ALL in.
I started last weekend. Per Marie’s suggestion, I started with clothes, gathered all my slacks together, and began purging and folding. And I listened to podcasts the entire time. I am totally obsessed with Mike Killen and James Rose lately and so I try and multi-task with a podcast whenever I can. And then one of them drops a golden nugget and that spurs my thought process about my business, and then I have to go to the computer to take care of something… so the slack purge took several days. And my business focus is all over the place. Needless to say, I wasn’t really accomplishing what I set out to do… in either area.
So this past weekend, I decided to ignore work and focus solely on getting my house in order. I finished up the slack purge and then, before dealing with anymore clothing, I decided to tackle the most bothersome thing to me – my bathroom, its cabinets, and the linen closet. And I did not log in to Facebook, Twitter, or email for an entire 48 hours.
Y’all!!!! I feel so much better! By allowing myself to focus on improving my space – and ONLY the act of improving my space, I got so much more done AND now everything I truly need in the bath and linens areas are easily within reach and easy to put away. Paring down to the essentials is LIBERATING! (And at 62, I have finally learned the proper way to fold clothes. <grin>)
I used to be that person. In my early adulthood, I spent hours organizing and keeping a tidy living space. I have owned a label gun most of my life and have probably spent a paycheck or two on plastic bins. I replaced all my wire hangers with color-coordinated plastic ones so they would slide easier on the rods. I made my bed every day and I hung up all my clothes or actually got them to the laundry room. I did the laundry AND FOLDED IT and put it away right then! I used to be that person. And I liked that person.
That’s the person I was this past weekend and I can’t remember the last time I felt that happy! Here’s what I learned. 1) I need a tidy living space to be really happy. 2) I suck at multi-tasking.
My new resolve is to continue my passion regarding helping others and making a difference BUT also to regularly take time completely away from the tech that is related to work and to gradually become that person I used to be. I’m getting back to ME!
Note – Working alone is wonderful but it can also make it too easy to over-do and neglect your own “me.” If that’s you, please try and remember what brings you personal joy and allow yourself to pursue it. Balance – it really is a thing.