Coaching – not just for sports

Patrick Greenaway


Busyness or Business …

Imagine business as a Formula 1 pit team – how successful do you think you would be? Would you be the team manager, calmly orchestrating the events from the safety of the pit wall; or would you be the one running around, doing every job to ensure it’s done well, getting in everybody’s way but feeling good because you are busy helping out, with the end result that the car goes out late and with only three wheels?
One of the biggest problems for business owners is we convince ourselves that being busy is what business is all about and as long as we are giving our all, then there is not much else we can do. While we know we need to work smarter rather than harder, the reality is that life throws curved balls and we end up reacting to the environment we find ourselves in and going back to our old ways.
We become addicted to the buzz and the last person to realise what is happening is the person with the problem. Like an alcoholic, it is the people around us who suffer most. Family is neglected, friends become acquaintances, and worse of all the people that are taken on in the business to provide support are driven away if they do not want to behave in the same way – and become workaholics as well.
If you are a workaholic, what do you do? The first step is being aware that you are a workaholic. The signs are clear and if you need help to see them ask somebody close to you to be honest with you. Some of the more obvious ones are:
• struggling to sleep at night because your mind does not stop;
• getting stressed and losing your temper at relatively minor things;
• starting things and not finishing them;
• working late at night or at the weekend when those around you seem to be off enjoying themselves;
• finding yourself being accused of not listening to other people
Once aware there is a problem, take ownership of the situation. The only thing is will you do as you have always done and get what you always got or will you try something different?
Deciding how many hours per week / days per year you want to work, what your team does for you and what would you rather be doing instead of working all the time is really important because if you don’t have something you like better, you will always end up doing what you are doing now, even if deep down you hate it.
The longer you have been a workaholic, the longer it will take to change your bad habits. Be honest with yourself and admit when you need help – other people will see you fall back into your old busyness habits far sooner than you do.
So go on, rev up your business and get yourself out of the pits!