Get more out of your career.
YOU HAVE MANY REASONS WHY YOU'RE NOT WORKING LESS AND making more. I've heard every excuse imaginable. No matter who you are and what situation you're in, there's one thing that blocks you from working less and making more.
No, it's not the economy. It's not your boss. It's not your business. It's not your customers. It's not the government. It's not your employees. It's not your mother or your father. It's not your kids. It's not your neighbors. It all comes down to one thing: you.
You are the one that blocks your own success. I know, a hard pill to swallow. In order to work less and make more, you must take responsibility for everything in your life. You decided to be where you are today, and you're the only one who can change it. You see, taking responsibility is the key to working less and making more. It's about clearly seeing what's blocking you so you can overcome it.
A huge block that often gets in your way is workholism. Although workholism has received a lot of mixed press coverage lately, it still receives tremendous support in our business world. The phrase "I'm working" has an air of success to it. The truth is you're very often working in order to avoid yourself, your feelings, your family and your life.
In order to work less and make more, you must learn that workaholism is a block, not a building block. There is a difference between having passion for your work and workaholism. That difference is not as much the hours you spend, but the emotional fulfillment you get during those hours. Workaholism feels like being on a treadmill. You keep working and working, but you don't seem to be getting anywhere. For a workaholic, working gives you self-worth.
Part of being a workaholic is also part of being a victim. When you fall into workaholism, you lose control of your life. You often feel trapped by your responsibilities and believe you have no choice but to work longer and harder. You have to work late. You have to take work home. You have to make the deadline. You have to postpone your vacation for a client. It goes on and on.
I saw workaholism in Bob, an old client of mine. The first challenge Bob had was he didn't think he was a workaholic. When I asked him why he worked all the time, and I mean seven days a week, at least eight hours a day, he simply said, "I have to."
He couldn't understand why his family was bickering all the time about his work. "I support them with the money I make," he said. "I have to work long and hard. If I don't, they won't have the money to do what they want to do. And then they'll be extremely unhappy."
Bob tied up his whole identity in work. He believed he was a good father because he worked to support his family. He believed he was a supportive spouse because he made a lot of money. He believed he was a valuable person because he was a success at work. What he forgot about--and chose to ignore--was being a success in life. We didn't work together for very long because Bob was unwilling to move from being a victim of his work to controlling his life.
Choice is the key word here. If you freely and joyfully work because you're passionate about what you're doing without neglecting your relationships, it's not workaholism. The difference between workaholism and overworking is crucial. Workaholism is an addiction that you use to isolate yourself. It's a way to avoid living your life.
Overworking, on the other hand, is a classic problem for many people. As you become more successful, you constantly fight your tendency to bring work home. You're often so tired, the work sits in the corner. You're full of guilt the next morning because you didn't work, and by the time you get to the office, you're cranky. Burned out. Stressed out. In the short term, you get rewards and recognition from achieving so much. In the long run, you burn out. This book is exactly what you need if you find yourself overworking--a lot.
DEFINE YOUR VISION
The journey to working less and making more starts with developing your vision. What do I mean by vision? Setting a course to work less, make more is like commanding a ship. (That ship happens to be your life.) Your ship may be the newest and shiniest in the fleet, but if it has a faulty compass, it'll take a sheer miracle to get you to your destination.
When I use the word vision, I want you to think of your final destination or where you want to go. Your vision will guide you when the going gets tough. When you're screaming out because you're breaking down the walls of your comfort zone, your vision will inspire you to keep doing what needs to be done.
Before you can create a vision for your life, it's important to look at your beliefs. In other words, the assumptions you make about different things. Your beliefs direct the course of your life whether you're conscious of them or not.
If you believe people are generally good, every experience you have will be shaped by that belief. When someone cuts you off in traffic in the morning, your beliefs tell you that person is inherently good and must be having a bad day. If you believe people are out to get you, you'll react quite differently to the same situation. You may even give the driver an obscene gesture. Your beliefs drive your behavior.
The same is true about whether you believe you can work less and make more. Your underlying assumptions about a lot of issues--success, money, work, your own abilities--shape whether you'll have success in this program. Before you can add anything to your life, you must flush out what beliefs you have about success.
Your beliefs about success usually come from other people. You look around and see your friends, mentors and parents working long hours and driving themselves to achieve. You read books that say success is about motivating and pushing yourself to do the things you don't want to do in order to get the results you think you want.
The trick to integrating these ideas and concepts into your life is first changing how you think and feel. You must shift internally before your external world changes.
Let me tell you this: working less and making more is not about suffering. It's not about sacrifice. It's about finding a new way of having it all. Until you change your beliefs about success, the success I'm writing about will elude you. Express your passion about your vision. You will work less and make more. I know you will.
RELATED ARTICLE: THE WORKAHOLISM
Answer each statement with Rarely - Seldom - Often,
R S O I work outside of normal working hours.
R S O I always talk about work, even at parties.
R S O I cancel time with loved ones in order to do more work.
R S O I challenge myself to keep a full calendar and work 12 hours a day.
R S O I postpone fun activities until the deadline at work is over.
R S O I find myself forgoing fun because I have brought work home and I'm afraid that if l get too involved in play, I won't get back to work.
R S O I work while on vacation.
R S O I never take vacations.
R S O My family and those closest to me complain that I work too much.
R S O I try to do two things at once.
R S O I feel anxious if I let a weekend go by without accomplishing anything.
R S O I procrastinate in finishing up the loose ends of a project.
R S O I set out to do one job and start on three more at the same time.
R S O I allow calls to interrupt and lengthen--my work day.
R S O I seldom prioritize my day to include one hour just for me. No work.
R S O I place my work before my dreams.
R S O I fall in with others' plans and fill my free time with their agendas.
R S O I never allow myself time to do nothing.
R S O I use the word deadline to describe and rationalize my workload.
R S O I am critical of my children, spouse and colleagues who have a lot of fun. They spend time with "nothing to show for it."
If you answered often to many of these questions, you probably have workaholic tendencies. Please seek professional help if you believe you've fallen into the workaholism trap. There are trained therapists who can help you undo the workaholism lifestyle or you can join Workaholics Anonymous. Support groups can be found in most cities.
RELATED ARTICLE: THE SUCCESS RULES QUIZ
Circle Y for "yes" or N for "no."
Y N Do you feel bad if you don't work at least 10 hours a day?
Y N Do you expect to come home tired from work?
Y N Do you act as if your company expects you to put its needs first, your family and your own needs last?
Y N Do you feel guilty if you say "no" at work?
Y N Do you find yourself taking on more and more work because there's no one else to do it?
Y N Is one of your biggest complaints that others don't work as hard as you? Are you secretly proud of this?
Y N Do you measure your success by what you achieve through your work, like financial gains and security?
Y N Do you keep going and going even when you want to quit?
Y N Do you find yourself cutting your vacations short so you can go to the office?
Y N Are you frustrated because the results aren't showing up fast enough?
Y N Do you typically spend more than 10 minutes on a problem without asking for help?
Y N Are you finding yourself justifying and rationalizing why things are taking so long? You know, excuses like I don't have enough time. It's sitting on someone's desk. I'm waiting for a call back.
Y N Do you carry your briefcase with you and check your voice-mail and e-mails when you're on vacation?
If you said yes to at least three of these, your beliefs about work are limiting your success and ultimately your lifestyle.
RELATED ARTICLE: OLD BELIEFS
* I work extremely hard to be a success.
* I work all the time in order to someday "make it."
* I come home tired from work.
* I put the company needs in front of my own needs.
* I take on more and more at work because no one will do it.
* I define my success by the money I make.
* I cut my vacations short so I can work. Or I don't vacation at all.
* I keep going and going.
* I never ask for help.
* I feel guilty because I'm playing but everyone else is working.
* I live my life by someone else's rules and standards.
RELATED ARTICLE: NEW BELIEFS
* I work extremely smart, not hard.
* I stopped working a long time ago. My work is play.
* I come home from work energized.
* I come first. No matter what. Only then can I be brilliant at work.
* I only take on activities I do extremely well.
* I define success first by how fulfilled I am. The money comes second or third or fourth.
* I take all the time I need to rest. That way I go back to work brilliant.
* I listen to my body and rest when I need to.
* I always ask for help. Why do it alone?
* I know that I'm on the right path. I don't care what others think.
* I live my life by my own rules and standards.
Jennifer White is a former corporate executive and small business owner. She is president of the JWC Group, a Cincinnati-based firm that provides success coaching nationwide to individuals and groups. In addition, she writes two weekly electronic newsletters.
This excerpt was adapted from Work Less, Make More by Jennifer White, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., $25. Copyright [C] 1998. Reprinted by arrangement with author. To order, call 800-228-0810 or BooksNow! at 800-BOOKS-NOW or www.BooksNow.com/Black Enterprise.
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|Title Annotation:||Careers Book Excerpt; tips on working less while making more|
|Date:||Oct 1, 1998|
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