It’s taken some time to realise that I love the busyness of working. Being constantly on the go, working within my routine. I never thought of myself as task orientated, but when it comes to work, I certainly am. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I tick tasks off my list …. aaahhh… so far this all sounds fabulously positive and productive… right?!
Well, there is a flip side to being task orientated; it’s easy to slip into becoming a workaholic and competing with yourself. Just a little more today… how much can I get done this week? Can I beat last week’s budget? Don’t get me wrong, goals are great, but finding out that you are a workaholic isn’t.
If this is all sounding a little too familiar, then maybe it is time for a work/life balance check.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)
A Time for Everything
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that there is a time for everything – this means that there is a time for working and a time for rest (even as God rested on the 7th day)
Everything we do has a specific time – but if you read those times in Ecclesiastes – they all have an opposite – a time to weep / a time to laugh. A time to plant / a time to harvest. Everything is balanced. A time for working / a time for rest. So being a task orientated workaholic is not working in alignment with the balance that God has for my life.
I recently read in the book,
… that when you feel stressed and overwhelmed (a common feeling for a workaholic), that you should take the time to write down EVERYTHING that you have on your to do lists.
Make some main headings: – These were mine: FAMILY, FINANCE, WORK admin, WORK clients, CWIB, CHURCH, HOUSE, HOLIDAY (yes, I included a holiday in my to do list).
Once I had my main headings, I wrote down everything that I needed to get done for each catergory. I put them into priority order and listed what needed to be done for every step. Some things on my list I crossed off straight away, some things, I totally removed or I delegated to other people.
Once I could see what my real priorities were, I was able to bring about a better balance.
I had time to rest and reflect. Just the act of writing everything down and being able to see it all at a glance – lifted a burden. Knowing that I could delegate some of that work, cross it off, or even push the dates back made a big difference to how I was feeling within myself. I was able to make room for my priorities at the top (family + time for God). I spaced things out and gave myself room to breathe. I made room to spend time with God.
Matthew 6;33-34 “seek first the kingdom of God…..”
If you are feeling that your balance is off and that your desire to work is taking over – then strip everything back and take it to God. Seek Him first…. and let His wisdom show you where you can make changes to your schedule or the way that you work to bring about a balance that allows you rest. A balance that allows you to recharge and give your best all the time. A balance that is in alignment with His purpose for your life.