Officially a workaholic

You wouldn't know it from the (in)frequency of blog postings here, but I'm actually faffing about on a lighter work schedule right now. After the breakneck pace of the last few months, I decided, annual business targets be damned, I needed to cut myself a little slack before I completely lost my mind.

And so I've been coasting along working what approximates normal hours, i.e. an average of 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week (rather than 10-12 hours a day everyday). Now I remember what the concept of "free time" is about.

Which also makes it the perfect time to consider this timeless question from Workaholics Anonymous: Twenty Questions: How Do I Know If I'm A Workaholic?

(Via Cowboy Caleb. Of course.)

Workaholics Anonymous prefaces the list of questions with: If you answer "yes" to three or more of these questions you may be a workaholic. Something tells me three "yes" answers are going to be something of an understatement in my case.

1. Do you get more excited about your work than about family or anything else?

No, but I get pretty damn excited about my work in general.

2. Are there times when you can charge through your work and other times when you can't?

Yep. Times when I can: when non-negotiable deadlines are coming right up, particularly if the money is good. Times when I can't: when I'm feeling burned out or creatively spent, or on the weekends when everyone is out having fun and I'm alone at home in front of the laptop.

3. Do you take work with you to bed? On weekends? On vacation?

To bed: yes. But only when I know it doesn't matter if I'm also simultaneously catching up on friends' blogs or chatting online.

On weekends: Yes. Hence the chronicling of the "Day of rest" series.

On vacation: Okay, that's an absolute no-no. I try not to even have my cell phone on when I'm on vacation. Except that I've got a two-week vacation coming up in September and I'm thinking of bringing my laptop just so that I can check in on stuff ... and already I can hear the chorus of friends screaming "NOOO!!!!!" down at me.

4. Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most?

See, this is where it gets tricky. My work involves writing and editing, which I love doing, and part of me really wants this to be the last job I'll ever have. That means even when I'm not writing for work, I'm writing for fun which also feeds back --- sometimes indirectly, sometimes directly --- into work. And writing is certainly one of the things I live to do best.

On the other hand, do I talk most about work? Heavens, no. In fact, I get tired of giving the same answers when people ask me what I'm working on at the moment.

5. Do you work more than 40 hours a week?

Yes. I'm almost unapologetic about it.

6. Do you turn your hobbies into money-making ventures?

Well, I've always like to write and now I write for a living. I've occasionally been paid to blog, but I wouldn't say those experiences merited the term "money-making ventures".

7. Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts?


8. Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time?

I hope not! Although I'm late more often than I'd like because "I was just finishing up something."

9. Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won't otherwise get done?

Sometimes --- but usually only if my reputation and/or the quality of the overall project is at stake.

10. Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?

Sheesh, just about all the time. Mostly, I think, because I typically work at home and then I get distracted by bits and bobs of things around the apartment. I'm much more productive working in a cafe or office environment; I'm most productive if there isn't an Internet connection available.

11. Do you believe that it is okay to work long hours if you love what you are doing?

(Kill me now.)

12. Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?

No way! People get to make their own choices.

But if someone commits to completing a certain join within a certain timeframe, and then fails to do so because they felt like going shopping, and then the entire project is thrown into jeopardy --- well, let's just say I'll be more than impatient in such a situation.

13. Are you afraid that if you don't work hard you will lose your job or be a failure?

Yes. *meep*

14. Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?

Yes. *double-meep*

15. Do you do things energetically and competitively including play?

I most certainly do not play competitively. In fact, I slack on most things that aren't "work"; hence I'm fairly domestically challenged, never really did well (or made money) from any of my hobbies, and never saw the point of conversations about who found the best bargain/has the swankiest apartment or car/had the coolest vacation/has the latest designer outfit/etc.

16. Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else?

Sigh. Sometimes. I need to let go, I know.

17. Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?

I think so. I believe this merits a *triple-meep*

18. Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?

I don't drive at the moment, but when I used to, I used to be mostly swearing at other drivers.

I've sometimes made the mistake of thinking about work as I was trying to fall asleep --- only to be up another half hour because that my mind spun up into high gear and wouldn't let me rest. Now I think about the colour black ("colour" is a misnomer, I know).

When others are talking? Sometimes. But only if a) I'm stressed about work, b) they're being at that moment truly, 110%, I've-given-them-as-many-chances-as-our-relationship-will-allow boring.

19. Do you work or read during meals?

Yes. But not all the time. (Reading during meals was a bad habit I picked up as a kid, despite my mother's best efforts.)

20. Do you believe that more money will solve the other problems in your life?

Of course not!


On that note, I'm off to enjoy the rest of my non-working Sunday.


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