People think I’m a workaholic.  I’m generally involved in 3 or 4 projects at any given time.  I set milestones and push myself to do more.  I was a good student, and I translated that into a career in video games and project management.  Now I’m raising a little girl full-time and working part-time.  Workaholic, right?

I would argue not so.  To me, a workaholic is someone who can’t stop working.  They devote 60+ hours a week, week-in, week-out to the one thing that drives them.  You can find them at the office as easily at 10 in the morning as you can at 10 in the evening.  They live for their work.

I, on the other hand, do not live solely for work.  I do enjoy what I do, but I also have a great time when I’m not working.  I’m happy writing this blog post now, but I’ll be just as happy tomorrow visiting elderly relatives over Father’s Day weekend.  I enjoy taking an afternoon off to go on a play date with a friend on a sunny afternoon (which I did today).

The difference between workaholism and me is simple: work efficiency.  I compartmentalize my life so that when I’m working, I’m working.  I set deadlines and I get things done.  But just as important, when I’m not working, I’m not working.  I don’t answer emails, I don’t wish I were at the office.  I enjoy being with my family.

There is no right way to be.  Some entrepreneurs are naturally workaholics.  They love to do what they do every minute of their lives.  Others, like me, have several obligations, so we have to really maximize our time as efficiently as we can.

Which are you?

-Deborah Fike

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