Being a hard worker is not a bad personality trait to have. It’s something that’s being instilled in me from childhood, almost certainly inherited (thank you grandad and mother). It can make you feel fantastic, proud, worthwhile like you can achieve anything.
It’s also an ideal trait for employers. I mean who doesn’t want that person in the office who will always be punctual and willing to stay late, who doesn’t have to be told to do something. They’re often positive, self-motivated and determined, it’s unlikely they’ll ever let you down.
But what happens when that reliable hard worker slowly morphs into a burnt out frustrated workaholic. The impact of working 70 hour weeks, EVERY week, can seriously alter your perspective on life. Get a grip.
You dream about work and often wake up at 3am just to email yourself
You think exercise is running from one meeting (or train) to another
Your self-care is low (seriously low) when a mars bar at 3pm constitutes lunch (and breakfast)
You ignore health issues, work when sick and think a dislocated knee can miraculously fix itself
You become irritable and frustrated – a long queue can even set you on edge
You don’t have a life outside of work and ‘Too busy’ becomes your daily mantra
You think holidays are for the lazy disconnect yourself from your phone
You never disconnect yourself from your phone
You wonder why years of your life have slipped by totally unnoticed
Overall by allowing work to consume you, there’s every possibility you could go from being the hard working, brilliant company hero to (…aaaarrrggghhhhh I don’t want to think about it). Luckily, I’m surrounded by wonderful people who helped me see the light, and I quit before I could find out.
So here I find myself in Bali, contemplating life and what’s next. I’ll always be a hard worker (it’s in my nature) but how can I ensure I’m the best version of a hard worker that I can be. It’s what I’m hoping to find out.