As I sit down to write this post, I'm surrounded my mountains of stuff. My office is a complete wreck and frankly, I don't work well unless my surroundings are clean. It's been a very crazy few days between flying, being sick, and chasing Benedict all while maintaining a household. I've been seeking a greater balance in my life that involves prayer time, reading time, play time, down time, cleaning time, family time, and exercise time, all of which take away potential work time. Whether you're self-employed, work from home, have a scheduled job, or are a stay-at-home parent, we all face this great balancing act. The sticky part is determining what qualifies as persistence and what qualifies as overwork.
Overworking yourself is just as dangerous as being too idle. If you're overworking, then by definition, some other area of your life is being neglected. Too much neglect and you start to move into reactionary mode instead of proactive mode. You become a fire-fighter who's priority is whatever burns the hottest. It's a bad way to live because, like the rat in the wheel, you never catch up.
Persistence, on the other hand, is a necessary trait. It gets you up at 5am to work on your book. It gets you out on the trail when you don't want to walk. It gets you to your desk when you'd rather binge watch something on Netflix. It's the coal in the fire that keeps you moving forward, upward, and closer to achievement.
So how do you know if you're being persistent or if you're overworking? Persistence respects family time while overworking rolls right over it. Persistence obeys your work hours boundaries while overworking is always on. Persistence recognizes that vacation is an important component of success while overworking sees vacation as an impediment to success.
If you're like me right now and feel overwhelmed, unsure of which of the dozens of projects to take care of, then you have to make a decision. What is one thing that you can do right now to get back into the drivers seat? For me, it's a day of cleaning, organizing, sorting, and purging. I think I'll start that now.
Overworking: it's never worth it.