My Name Is George, and I'm a Workaholic
If I take a break, I might not want to get back on the entrepreneurial treadmill again
You know the song Everybody's Working for the Weekend? The entrepreneurs' version should be Everybody's Working on the Weekend.
Since I started my business four years ago, I've missed going to the office on Saturday or Sunday no more than a dozen times. Sometimes there's a reason to be there and sometimes there really isn't. It just doesn't feel like a weekend anymore unless I spend at least one day balancing the books, cleaning my office, or preparing for the following week. I have not had a stay-at-home, leisurely weekend for what seems like an eternity. In fact, I spent part of a rainy Sunday at my home computer writing this column and another one I do for a local paper. Later, I'll call some candidates I want to place in jobs. It never stops.
I'm not alone. The guys from Invision the company I share an office with are always at work. CEO Tyler Roye spends more time there than anyone I have ever known. He keeps an entire wardrobe in the office. One minute he's in shorts, the next he's donning a suit to meet a client. In fact, we're installing showers and a "crash room" in our new offices in case we want to spend the entire week there. Actually, with all that's available in our new digs, there is no reason to go home anymore.
We even have a full barbecue out back. Last Saturday, Tyler cooked for us, while everyone hung around watching. On his way out, he passed by my desk where I was struggling with some database matter and shoved some seasoned burgers under my nose.
I've struggled with the weekend issue many times, trying to figure out why I absolutely have to work then. It must be ingrained in me to the point of being a kind of addiction like going to the health club every day. If I miss one day, I feel awful.
Maybe it's that I don't want to come in Monday and face unknowns. On the weekend, I can plan my time and choose priorities. Maybe I'm afraid that if I let an entire weekend go by without focusing on the office, I'll lose momentum and spend the better part of Monday drifting from one task to another. I'm also afraid that a few days of just plain relaxation will sap my motivation.
Everything I've read about this issue runs counter to my fears. Veteran entrepreneurs I've spoken to advise me to step away from my business from time to time. They, too, went through the weekend routine, but no longer feel so compulsive. I find it hard to believe that things will move quicker if I slow down. It doesn't make sense.
I just remembered that I left an important folder back in the office. Who knows, maybe I "forgot" it subconsciously just to have an excuse to trot in on a Sunday. Boy, that would really be sick, wouldn't it?
George Giokas is the president and CEO of StaffWriters Plus, a specialty agency that places writers in temporary and permanent positions with corporate and other employers. It also provides editorial consulting work. His database includes 2,500 writers and editors specializing in more than 60 categories. His Web site is located at www.staffwriters.com, and you can E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.