September 24, 2020 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When you are an entrepreneur, working tirelessly seems not to be an option, but a commitment. Mainly because of the desire that everything goes well and also because of the need to be constantly aware of changes in the market, innovations in the sector. Various details which, however, are not unimportant.
For this type of person, the fine line between working “just enough” and becoming a workaholic is practically imperceptible. When you least notice it, you live to work, lose track of time and exceed your work objectives.
Like tobacco, alcohol, even video games, workaholism is a condition that must be taken seriously. While it may seem deceptively positive for business to become a workaholic, it can lead to a variety of problems that affect your mental and physical health.
Related: Surrounded by Workaholics? How to Retune Your Company Culture.
It is important to differentiate between smart work and overwork because the former does not mean that you should enslave your life by becoming a workaholic and have great productivity. Reflecting on it, I share with you some tips to avoid becoming a workaholic.
Work for goals, not for hours
If you believe that working around the clock will bring better results, I must inform you that you are wrong. The number of hours you work will not define the productivity and much less the success of your business.
While dedication is important, even more so if it is a business that is just starting out, organizing a work schedule is essential to avoid work overloads, which can, in the long run, truly affect productivity.
In this context, working with a focus on objectives is a very smart way to run a business. It is important in principle to set clear objectives, to know where you are going and what actions will lead you to achieve your goals.
A common mistake a workaholic makes is wanting to solve all the outstanding issues in one day. When this is not achieved, the feeling of frustration invades and he continues to work tirelessly in search of finishing what he started. This only ends in exhaustion, both physical and mental.
To avoid this, the best thing to do is to define our priorities. In this way, you will focus your attention and time on tasks or issues that require immediate solutions and you will be able to solve them according to your list step by step.
Related: Is Your Workaholic Behavior Hurting Your Team? The Answer Is Yes.
Learn to delegate
An important key to productivity is learning to delegate. Making a list of tasks will not only allow you to differentiate between the most important ones. You will also be able to assign some of them to whomever you consider relevant.
This way, you will be able to focus on only the tasks that require your attention and, on the other hand, have an idea of the time that each one of them could take.
Assign time limits to tasks
If you are used to working all day long it may seem unnecessary and even a little silly. However, it is highly useful. Although it may be a little difficult at first, assigning a time to each task will help you make a habit of working in a more organized way.
You will be able to set limits according to the importance of each task and avoid wasting your energy on carrying out just one thing. While you can be flexible with some tasks, it’s important to manage your time wisely.
Take advantage of resources
Today, thanks to technological innovation there is a great diversity of applications and tools that you can use appropriately within your work environment. Each of them can lead you to optimize your work and save a great deal of time.
Related: Attention Workaholics: The Future of Civilization Doesn’t Depend on Elon Musk Denying Himself Sleep
Taking advantage of technological resources for work can not only make many aspects easier but also give you a lot of options to improve your work habits.
Take a break
You deserve a break, after every activity, every day. Taking breaks from your work schedule will benefit you in two ways:
First, taking a break from work will help you regain energy. With every activity you do, it wears down not only your brain but also your body. That’s why rest is so important.
In addition, you will be giving your body a break from all the work, especially if you focus on activities that improve your well-being, such as exercising, going for a walk, among others.
On the other hand, you will have the possibility of increasing your productivity at work. After the rest, both the body and the mind are renewed, have recovered energy and will be able to participate with a better attitude in other elementary aspects of the company. In other words, rest is not only necessary but beneficial.