Are You a Workaholic?

As is the norm with most of my working days, I found myself sitting in front of the computer the other day, chatting with a few people on Twitter. Naturally, we covered a range of topics, but I mentioned that there always seems to be so much to do. I’m known to be quite the prolific freelance writer, so that only makes sense. It’s partly because I have the freedom of time that I find myself working (in some form) during most of my waking hours.

After sending out that tweet about having so much to do, I received a reply from iPhone Gary asking why I don’t just work less. That may seem like such a simple concept, but when you work from home, running your own business, it’s not quite so easy to understand. Further still, it’s because freelancers and other online entrepreneurs have a certain ability to dictate their own income levels that they feel compelled to get in that one extra task or just one more project to supplement their income.

At the same time, you have to ask yourself why you are working so hard or taking on so many responsibilities in the first place. Why are working yourself to the bone and finding that there are not enough hours in the day? For me, it’s much more about having a sense of accomplishment than it is about the actual money that is generated. I want to feel like I am being productive and contributing to society in some way.

That said, the very idea of cutting back on the amount of work has an obvious appeal. Time is the biggest non-renewable resource that we have. Even though I mostly enjoy what I do (of course I slack off from time to time), I also very much value the time that I have away from the Internet and away from the world of work. That’s a big part of why the so-called “dot com lifestyle” is so attractive. If it weren’t for this relative sense of freedom, I would not be able to attend a ski and snowboard festival on a whim.

Then, why not work less?

By no means am I rich, but I have managed to make a respectable income as freelance writer. I could quite easily cut back on a couple of projects and give myself some more free time, but then I’d feel like I’m leaving so much on the table. Life is what it is and I want to feel like it’s worthwhile and I have contributed in some way. Does that make me a workaholic? Perhaps, but I’d rather be working a little too hard than to feel like I haven’t lived up to my potential.