Confession of a workaholic

My name is Thierry and I am a workaholic. I have known for a long time that I do have a problem with work but it has been difficult to admit. My parents both died fairly young, not from karoshi1,  I want to add, both had a pretty healthy work appetite and I guess they passed this on to both my sister and I. My sister tells me that it is a curse as she also finds it difficult to relax. We both feel guilty sitting down doing nothing.

Even when I worked in the big corporate world, I worked an average of ten to twelve hours per day but only five days per week. Now that I work for myself the daily tally is over fourteen hours per day, certainly six days per week, if not seven.  This work regime has been sustained for the past twenty months. I always knew that starting a business was going to take time and effort but I certainly did not realise that it was going to be consuming so much of my time.

Spending time doing something else than working on Asobi makes me feel incredibly guilty. In the past twenty months, I have only played golf three times, exercised very little and only been on holiday for five days. I have let friendship, family and other commitments take a back seat to my business.  I have not visited my ninety-five years old grandmother for nearly two years…

I normally get up at 5:30 or 6am and go straight to my PC to look at emails and start planning my day. I then go to the office where I stay until probably 8:30 to 9pm. I then go home and am working again for a little while after dinner.

My work-life balance is tipping the wrong way; this is to the detriment of my family life. I have spent less and less time doing things with the family and I now feel that my son is suffering from this.

I really cannot afford to go cold turkey on this addiction without very serious consequences to my future, my family’s future and commitments I made to my business partners. However it is very clear that I need to find a way of cutting down as otherwise I will burnout.

So why do I spend time writing a blog? I hear you ask… I enjoy writing and I find it a release. Not that I feel the need to justify how I spend my time to anybody but this particular episode of my blog is written at 2am during a bout of sleeplessness. Sleeplessness due to worry, you guessed it, about my business. Business is OK, we have picked up some really interesting brands for early 2011 that will no doubt attract lots of interest and will move sales on but I am forever concerned on how I can make things better, more efficient, sell more, etc… How can I stop this?

1) Karoshi is the Japanese word for death by overwork, a well-known phenomenon in Japan.

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