I don’t think I am a true workaholic.  I don’t feel compelled to work 80 hours a week.  Instead I am merely someone who:
  • Likes the success of a well completed project;
  • Has the attitude that I should never put anything off until tomorrow, if I can doing it today;
  • Believes that if anything is worth doing, it is worth doing well and worth doing right;
  • Turns every task into a production line, looking to see what the most efficient way is of doing that task;
  • Has so many interests and hobbies, and they all take time.  Time I don’t always have, but I want to make time to do them;
  • Is a constant multitasker in everything I do.
  • Keeps too many balls up in the air, because I try to do the following (with the help of Tim), whilst still trying to make time for exercise and fun activities:
    • run a business
    • manage our communal building of apartments
    • run a charity
    • manage 2 (soon to be 3) investment properties
    • do a demanding day-job, which expects 100% effort 100% of the time
  • Plans and organises every part of my life, because that is the only way I can fit it all in.
All sounds positive, however, none of the above it the curse I speak of.  The curse is that I become consumed by work.  I am a Project/Programme Manager/Consultant on big change projects.  It means that during my working day I have to be super-organised, think on my feet, be very organised and juggle a very large number of activities which I need to find solutions for, plan, chase, implement.  No two projects are the same and every day is different, which is exactly why I love the job.  It combines my organisational skills, strategic thinking, IT skills, ability to motivate and guide people with lateral and creative thought.  (Feels like I am writing a CV!) 

Still all sounds positive, but herein lies the dreaded curse, because I am so active and my brain does not stop, I literally just can’t stop thinking.  I am completely consumed.  My brain won’t allow me to sleep through the night.  I wake up thinking about possible solutions to problems, I lie awake wondering how to tackle difficult issues.  And this leaves me exhausted during the day.  I can go, go, go, go, go – sometimes called the Duracel Bunny!  But just like the Duracel bunny my batteries go flat, and I collapse in a heap!
Case and point:  it is exactly 4.13 am, and my brain woke me up at 3.00am (and 12 am, and 1.30 am!), but this time I have not been able to get back to sleep.
I am currently working on a very exciting project.  It’s been hugely demanding, but yesterday I had to prepare my first change strategies and proposals to completely change the way a shared business service engages, trains and upskills their 85,000 users for 150 clients!  My brain has been thinking overtime.  The bones of an approach is now much clearer, scribbled in multi-coloured pens over many A3 pages, but now I have to start planning the details, and there is such a mountain to do.  I have to convert the ideas into some type of structure that can be understood by others, the concept needs to be sold to stakeholders, where after we need to get their buy-in as it affects every area of the business, project teams need to be resourced and mobilised, and then I need to start filling out the details, and turning the ideas into plans, costings, timescales and work packages.
Just thinking about it thrills me.  I just want to keep going and not stop.  But as history taught me:  my body doesn’t take kindly to that kind of hammering.  I have to control the urge to do more, do it now and do all the other things I do at the same time!  Which is why I get so frustrated that, when I am trying to be kind to my body, when I am trying to sleep – my brain wakes me up!
Enough ranting.  Hopefully my brain has had its nightly thinking fix and it will let me go back to sleep now.
(Hmmn, I also wonder whether this little piece will give my parents a little better idea of what it is I actually do for a living, as they just don’t understand it!)