The constant need to work can become addictive.
Between having two caretaker jobs, being editor of the Rambler Media Group, planning a wedding, and being a full-time student, I have the constant need to be in motion.
At times where I think I can finally settle and relax, the need to work becomes so overwhelming that I have to stop what I’m doing to work.
It’s kind of like that saying from Stephen King’s The Shining: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
But the need to constantly work, feel overwhelmed and be in a stressful situation is necessary for my day-to-day schedule.
My to-do list is never-ending, because the minute I believe I completed my list I remember 10 other things I need to do.
Not only do I remember the million things I do, I can never remember how much of a priority each thing is, to the point that I literally have to stop myself from working on “unimportant” things to figure out which things are important.
I strive to be in high-tension, stressful situations.
By pressuring myself to complete my to-do list, I slowly become a wiser and more productive person. I get excited about the fact that I have more things to add to my resume or use in my portfolio.
I’m able to be step closer to being more prepared for my future career in design work.
Slowly, the need to be the best becomes consuming.
I have always had extreme insomnia, but it increases with the amount of stress I have from jobs and projects. I stay awake at night reminding myself of the difficult jobs I have to do or the ways I can make a design more interesting.
Sleeping for an hour or two becomes unnecessary.
Why sleep when I can finish my assignment for class? Why sleep when I can be at work?
Next thing I know, I’ve been to school, worked two jobs, finished all my assignments and drove to see Robert, my fiance, and I haven’t slept in 36 hours.
Without sleep, I become much more irritable, feel angry at myself, start unnecessary arguments with Robert and lash out at people.
I start to become burnt out and have many negative feelings toward my job at the Rambler office. I feel prepared to quit college and my job and give it all, but I can’t.
But the need to continuously work and achieve my highest goals are essential for me.
Without it, I slowly become depressed by laying around and tend to have a sedentary lifestyle.
My anxiety increases more because I began to feel like a failure.
But at times I do need to understand the importance of slowing down and taking a step away from my busy schedule.
It causes me to struggle with relationships with certain friends or family. It causes arguments between my fiance and I and makes me furious at myself at times.
Is being the best at something so important that I have to give up everything else?
No, it’s not.
I have to tell myself this everyday, and it almost becomes almost like a mantra.
“Take time for yourself.” “Read a book.” “Call Robert and talk to him for an hour.” I have to repeat these things to myself every morning while writing my list.
But does all that happen? Most likely not.
This is the stuff that pushes me to overcome my issues.
I have to give myself time to relax and watch Netflix, start to create to-do lists with priority checks, spend more time with my family and fiance and to stop volunteering for a million jobs.
You shouldn’t be proud of being a workaholic, but having the ability to take time for yourself and step away from your job is something to be proud of.