If we were paid for the time we spent thinking about work, our employers couldn’t afford us! You may enjoy being a workaholic and perhaps it doesn’t impact on loved ones or friends, in which case no harm is done – or is it? If you are inclined to be obsessed with your work, the chances are that you are not seeing the wood for the trees and are missing opportunities for a more rounded outlook. But what if you have family or friends who deserve your time and attention? You may be physically with them, but the part of you that really matters might still be drifting off to work much of the time
A story I’m happy to tell against myself relates to the time when I saw myself as an up and coming young executive and some worry or other about my work would never be far from my mind. My wife was stuck at home with four young children and if I’d had a trying day and she happened to catch sight through the window of my hangdog expression as I approached the house, she would say to the kids, ‘Keep out of his way tonight.’ I’m not proud of that and wish I’d shown more interest in their lives at that time.
A senior manager I met was is in the habit of getting home in time to help get his children to bed and read them a story and then going back to work for a couple of hours most days. If he had been better at delegation he wouldn’t have needed to do this and what message did it send to his large and capable team? I don’t know how his wife felt about it but I do know it is not much fun for a family when the man (or woman) allows themselves to be shackled by their work.
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