Yes, I consider myself a "workaholic". Before you judge me, listen to my reasons… I love my job (and I mean I L♥♥♥VE it!!!). It's usually the first thing I think of when I wake up and the last thing I dream of before bed. I've even designed dresses in my sleep (but, who hasn't?). After several years of long hours and sacrifices I still can't get enough. The experience of working at my goals is more fulfilling than the end result. I don't imagine retiring when I'm older, I imagine having more time to work, paint, sew and create. Design is what I love.
That said, one of the questions I hear often is, "How do you balance work and personal life?" or "How do you stay so productive?". The answer is a balanced lifestyle. Over the years I've learned (sometimes the hard way) what my personal boundaries are. Every person is different and needs a special sense of balance.
I've learned that I can work long hours without breaking down if I have things to look forward to. I schedule date nights, weekend trips and shopping dates with my sister after harsh deadlines. This give and take method works really well for me. For example, right now I am working long hours everyday on some e-courses that will launch soon. I'm planning to take a day or two off next week to play around with wedding DIY projects as a reward! Don't be afraid to give yourself incentives for a job well done.
The second important lesson I've learned to keep myself cheerful (and sane) when working a LOT is steady sleep. I used to be really proud of my all night work sessions, but I was drained. These days I sleep eight hours every night and I've never been happier. I get more done when I'm awake and, most importantly, I feel human! If you're a young entrepreneur, give yourself some sanity and go to sleep. Just trust me….♥
The last piece of advice I have to offer is all about attitude. It's easy to get overwhelmed and feel victimized by a crazy schedule. I have to choose to remind myself daily that I chose this career (and all that it entails!) and that I have to be thankful that we are really really busy. Complaining and getting discouraged is easy. The challenge is keeping a positive perspective about what needs to be done. Maintaining an optimistic and enthusiastic energy for my business is one of the most important contributors to our continual growth. I think of my heroes in design and I imagine them being full of fresh energy and inspiration daily. This kind of attitude propels us forward, and the absence of it can be pretty devastating. We're all human and we all have difficult times, but I feel very strongly that staying inspired and positive about my work is my responsibility. No one else can do it for me.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that while my lifestyle may never be "normal" it's working really well because I've found a way to work a ton while still enjoying life to the fullest! I feel like my career adds so much to my life and it's something I will never regret making sacrifices for, even if I am labeled a "workaholic".
Have a wonderful Wednesday… elsie