Welcome to Business Bliss!
Why We Overwork:
All great changes begin with understanding why. Often people will try to make large changes in their lives by simply addressing their symptoms. They want to stop drinking coffee so they quit, they want to quit cigarettes so they grab a patch or go cold turkey. However, they see little success or lasting momentum because they’ve failed to ask why those symptoms appeared in the first place. You have to address the root of the things you’d like to change first. You have to understand the why so that you can heal the origin of the problem. Like pulling weeds up from the roots instead of trimming the tops only to see them grow back time and time again. Maybe you drink so much coffee because you like the feeling of being in a coffee shop and you can’t imagine sitting down to work without a warm drink. So you ask yourself why you need something warm to drink? Then you address the fact that you don't like the work you are doing so you are trying to make it more interesting for you. What if there's a way to make it more interesting that supports your goal of intaking less caffeine? Start making changes with the ‘why’ in mind and you will see more lasting results!
When it comes to overworking, people often create rules for which they will live their life. No working on weekends, no working after 5pm. Etc. They try their best to follow those rules and every weekend they remind themselves to not work, to not think about work, to not stress over work and instead of finding rich relaxation they just have a tiny little work troll that sits on their shoulder nagging them about everything they could be doing. Instead, we should sit down with ourselves, ask why we can’t shut it off and address the root. That way, when the time comes for us to be work free, we can truly rest into the relaxation.
Common Reasons for Overworking
We each have our own reasons for why we overwork. Often, we overwork in different areas of our lives for different reasons. It's important to understand the reason behind this behavior so that we can truly heal the source of the problem and move forward in a positive direction. Below I've listed out 10 of the most common reasons people overwork. Do any of these resonate with you? Take note as you move into this lesson's set of intentions.
- Determining your worth by what you can produce.
It's not uncommon for entrepreneurs to tie their worth in with the amount that they can produce. People often get to where they are because they learned at some point that it's better to do more than less. Where do you find your source of value? Could work be one of those sources for you?
Believing that more hours = more money.
The way that most of society is set up, hours worked equates to money made. You clock into your job and you are paid for the time that you spend there. We train ourselves to think that the more time we spend on the clock, the more money we will make. This becomes less and less true when you become self-employed. Not only do you NOT typically get paid hourly but, you are setting your own hourly rate. If you believe that you have to actively work for every dollar spent than you aren’t creating scalable belief systems. You won’t be able to move forward with less work and more money. Do you believe it is impossible or perhaps even unethical or lazy to make money when you aren't 'on the clock?'
You are undercharging.
Perhaps you don't believe you are worth more money or you don't believe your market would pay your ideal rates, maybe you aren't sure if you are undercharging. It’s actually easy to see if you are undercharging. If you are working too much, selling out of your products and still not making enough money to feel comfortable. You aren’t charging enough. You will be constantly overrun with work without the space to take a break and let your schedule breathe. Are you taking on more and more jobs to make ends meet? Are you charging enough money to support your desired lifestyle?
You have a fear of releasing control.
The belief that no one can do a job as well as you will keep you on the ground overworking forever. This prevents you from outsourcing, hiring and not micro-managing your employees. You will forever be tied to the small tasks of your business that do not increase revenue or move your company forward. Are there areas of your business where you could exercise a little less control?
You use it to avoid relationship expectations.
Being ‘too busy’ is a really nice excuse for turning down an invitation. You never have to deal with conflict, you never have to question if you have the right people in your life. You’re just too busy. Do you often use your work as an excuse to get out of the social activities that you'd rather not do?
You believe that busy = successful.
It’s easy to convince yourself that being busy means you’ve made it or are going to make it. Even if those efforts aren’t resulting in higher profits and a more pleasurable work environment. You use the hours worked as a marker for how well your business is doing. Do you rest on pulling out 12-hour days to prove to yourself that your business is going to make it, that you are doing something that you love or that you are giving it all you've got?
A lack of productivity.
It can be as simple as you haven’t developed the skills to produce more work in less time. Do you often find yourself taking a long time to do tasks that seem simple? Are you often stalling during your work day instead of feeling productive and invigorated?
De-prioritizing systems & organization.
It can be difficult to prioritize these things when they don’t seem to make you money. However, they will eventually make your more money! Are there systems that you could develop or sharpen that would make it easier for you to take on more work? Are there areas that can be organized to save you time long-term?
Working against your flow.
I guess I could call this time management. But, the way I prefer to manage time looks more like working with your creative flow. When are you naturally excited to be working and when are you forcing something through? Do you often work when you aren’t the most inspired to do so?
Fear of the opinions of others.
One of the most common reasons self-employed people overwork is because they are afraid their friends and family won’t respect their job otherwise. It can feel hard to explain what we do to the people we love, especially if they work a regular 9-5 job. We often overcompensate for our flexibility by overworking. Do you have people in your life that you feel the need to prove you are working enough to? Do you feel the need to constantly validate your job by stating how many hours you've worked or not taking vacations?
I prefer the word intentions to homework or goals because it allows room for you to decide. I recognize that life is full and it can often be difficult to fit all of these tasks in. These tools are here for you to take this lesson to a deeper level, to truly apply it to your life. If you utilize them, you will have a much deeper and enriching experience. However, if you do not, the world will not end and you have not failed.
- Dig deep into your why.
What I want you to do is list out 3 symptoms in your own life that show you are working more than you'd like. For each one I want you to ask yourself 'why?' Then ask 'why' to the answer. Do this series at least 4 times. If you get to a point where you think you have it figured out, I encourage you to ask 'why' one more time. The answer usually lives a bit deeper than we expect.
An example of this process:
Symptom: I don't take days off often enough.
Why don't I take days off? Because there's too much work to do.
Why is there too much work to do? Because the deadline I created for that project was too short.
Why did I set a deadline that was too short? I was worried there wouldn't be enough money.
Why was I worried about money? Because I don't have a stable savings account.
Reason for not taking days off: I don't have a stable savings account for the months where things feel financially tight.
- Fill out the 'Schedule Tracker' Worksheet
Track your schedule for the next 7 days with the schedule tracker. Each day gets it's own worksheet and is trackable down to the hour. Put an x in the box that most relates to how that hour felt to you or what you experienced. This will help you to see daily trends in how you work that will aid you as we move forward in this process