Guilty: Confessions of a Work-a-holic

Fine, I’ll admit it

*hands on hips!*

I’m guilty. There. Are you happy now?! I admitted it.

I felt EXTREME guilt this week, like starting to overwhelm me guilt that I couldn’t shake.

.

.

.

I felt guilty for taking
naps during my work day.

 

If you don’t get it then maybe you’re not a work-a-holic, stay that way, don’t come over to this dark side, please. If you do get it you’re gonna be saying “Yep, same, me too, I feel you sister!” all the way through this…

So let’s talk about the guilt, the overwork, the self-imposed stress, the complete lack of balance, and how it’s NOT healthy, not serving me (or you) or my business, and what we all need to do to stop it.

 

First things first– I wanted to just smack myself for being so tired and so, in my own words “unproductive” and be angry at my for not being about to just caffeine-up and push through like the warrior I am.

And then God smacked me.
He does that. He knows Ericka and that sometimes you just gotta smack her to get her attention, it’s cool. He pointed me to scripture after scripture where person after person rested in the Bible. And finally I got it. “REST ERICKA!”
Warriors rested before battle, and after.
Saints took days off
God himself even said to observe the Sabbath as a day of rest.
And really, girl, if GOD took a day off after making the world and all the things in it then who am I to say I don’t need a rest?!
Okay, okay- you made your point. I will stop beating up on me over needing rest and will take those naps and mental check-outs as needed.

 

A little background in case you didn’t already know, I am a leader in Paparazzi Accessories, the $5 jewelry company, and at the time of this writing I have a team of almost 520 people to teach, coach, mentor and help grow and grow a business, plus my own sales. Life is a little hectic and I like to work. I love my work. I love selling jewelry, I love teaching people, I love empowering people, I love seeing others succeed and grow. My job is my favorite thing to do.

But it’s still a job.

And I forget that a lot. I start treating it like it’s part of my recreation, I am always attached to my phone answering questions and messages and helping folks, I put my business before my meals, before my family, and certainly before myself and my health. I’ve dealt with this in the past and nearly lost Ericka in the process, I was able to overcome but alas, I find myself walking down the same road.

Perhaps this time will be different because I will be walking in my purpose and calling and sharing this truth with you and encouraging my fellow work-a-holics to stop what we’re doing and reevaluate our priorities.

Let’s do it, shall we?

1- Girl you are ONE person. 
Admit it, one person with 24 hours a day and only two hands. You cannot do it all, and you do not have too. Stop trying to do it all. Love yourself as you are, not as you wish to be. And learn right now to be okay wit the fact that you DO NOT have to do it all!

2- DELEGATE
Give away the house work to someone else, pay them if you need too and then learn to accept that it is not perfect but done and done, and done is good.
Give away the mundane things that you hate to do– mine is filing, ugh, I have a pre-teen come over a few times a month and manage my files chaos, both paper and electronic, she saves me hours of agony and is TOTALLY worth the 20 bucks I pay her each time.
I had an administrative assistant, she moved on to an amazing promotion at her full time job, so I am currently without, but having one was the biggest help to me ever! I had no excuse not to focus on the things that make my business grow rather than letting myself get bogged down in the junk that is necessary but doesn’t grow a business.

3- GROW LEADERS!
Empower people in your organization to lead. I have a huge group of folks all doing what I do and now my efforts are focused 70% on them, on growing them, empowering them, and in some cases forcing them to lead. And then I step back and lead my own while they lead theirs. This is not easy for me because I find so much joy in leadership but I am by-goodness doing it!

4- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Mine was screaming at me for rest and a whole lot less caffeine, it took me a week to listen to it and as soon as I let myself have that two hour nap things changed. I could think again, could focus again, my productivity went back to normal, and my quality of work was back to what I expected. Not to mention my attitude was what it should have been all along– it is impossible for my to have a good attitude when I’m tired.
And then, I was suddenly able to realize, “Oh yeah, the time change was Sunday and my body is still adjusting and is struggling, I’ve gotta be more kind to me.”  After that it was so much easier, but without the clarity of thought that came from the rest I never would have found that in my memory.

5- GROW YOURSELF DURING THIS PROCESS
This is all about changing your mindset and we work-a-holics, we need that change more that anyone.
Seriously, how egotistical ARE WE to think that if we take an hour, a day, a weekend, or *gasp* a week off the world will stop spinning?!
The world was spinning before we came and will surely keep on going when we rest for a while.
It’s time to change that mindset and grow to the point that we know rest is vital, the world, our team, or business, everything will keep on going even if we take a break.

6- TURN OFF THE DEVICES
Preaching to the choir here… I have a dream of not allowing phones in the bedroom that has not happened yet. We do not need our phones in the bed.
I have made a compromise, my do not disturb comes on at 9:30 and only approved numbers can call or text and get through, everything else just waits.
And I hear your excuse– “But what if there’s an emergency?!” Honey, I sell $5 jewelry, literally NOTHING about this can be an emergency, ever.
If you’re an emergency worker you get a pass here, if you’re a mom/dad/parent/guardian you just have to set the specific numbers you will allow through the DND, and everyone else waits.

7- SET OFFICE HOURS (and keep the darn things)
I have office hours and mostly I do stick to them, I take the evenings off to spend with my husband, to read, write, or zone out with a dumb TV show, I do not answer my messages or texts, and the only calls I take are the ones I want to take. All work things will be done during work hours.
Harsh?
Not at all. It’s called boundaries. See #6, nothing I do constitutes an emergency, and as I will explain in #8, I have systems set up to help my team when I am not available. They need to use them.

8- CREATE SYSTEMS YOUR PEOPLE CAN USE WHEN YOU AREN’T THERE
I am a big fan of teaching someone to fish– almost every time when I get back to someone the next morning their response is “Oh, I found what I was needing!” BOOM BABY. That’s called teaching.
I have documents, videos, pages, groups, websites, and SO MANY other things available to my team. They need to use them and sometimes the only way to get the hand-holding ones to use them is by force. And I force them by not answering. It works every time.
Create a system for yourself and teach people to use it!

 

I could go on for hours on this topic, I feel like a self-proclaimed expert and recover-ee.
I have done a lot of work in this area and still have room to grow, but I am on the path and I hope you will join me on it an we can recover together!

Listen to yourself.
Kick out the guilt.
Set yourself and your team up for success with delegation, leadership and systems.
And GROW GROW GROW every single day!

We will no longer be work-a-holics, we will be balanced, kind, and happy people who lead and love a large organization all the way to success.

 

ps- when I did take that nap and let myself rest my business GREW, I sold more pieces, added more teammates, and had more leaders step up and step in. The pay off is way worth the risk! Just do it!

 

One thought on “Guilty: Confessions of a Work-a-holic

  1. Excellent article packed with so much value as are the duplicatable tools that you have in place. I’m excited to be one of your teammates and look forward to a long, profitable journey together. p.s. I’m a confessed workaholic, too and promise to not allow myself to go there again either.

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