I aspire to be a workaholic - the type of guy who can’t stop, who gets it done no matter what, who ignores normal life in the pursuit of something else. Unfortunately I’m not - I’m a I’vegotworkdoaholic.
Every day is full of things I have to do - important things - things that can’t be ignored; books to write, articles to finish, deadlines to meet, tour to plan, talk to set up. Throw in two kids, a high flying partner who’s training for the Paralympics, family, training and the odd trip away and very soon work time gets tight.
I have a lot of things in my favour. I don’t have a TV. I don’t have an Xbox 360. I don’t go to the pub. I don’t have a social life. In fact the nearest person I have as a best mate - the guy I see the most - is my ex wife’s boyfriend. I live the life of a workaholic, but unfortunately I can’t get the same output.
From getting up in the morning to going to bed at night there is only the intension to work and even know, when I should be eating my porridge for breakfast, I’m sat typing this as it grows cold.
But the problem is I’m easily distracted (my ex wife is convinced I have ADHD), and instead of writing my book, or sorting slides for my show, I’ll drift off and start looking for topos of the Desmaison route on the Jorasses, or how to train for an Iron Man - stuff that may one dat be important, but doesn’t pay the bills today. If I wasn’t self employed person I’d no doubt get the sack.
And so my life is full of guilt, guilt about the fact I’m working while not working - not doing what I want to do, while trying and failing to do what I don’t want to do. I have a strong work ethic, only without the work.
But then the other day I had a revelation, remembering John Lennon’s quote “Time wasted well is not time wasted” and something clicked. I was wasting time badly, and instead of trying to force some productivity out of my brain, I should just think ‘fuck it’ and do something fun - not that I know what that is. I guess this is called not-working clever.
Right - time to eat some cold porridge - then go and sit in a dark cafe and write another 4000 words for Cold Wars….
A Snickers bar costs 60p. Were these words worth as much?
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Andrew Kirkpatrick is a British mountaineer, author, motivational speaker and monologist. He is best known as a big wall climber, having scaled Yosemite's El Capitan 30+ times, including five solo ascents, and two one day ascents, as well as climbing in Patagonia, Africa, Alaska, Antarctica and the Alps.Follow @ Instagram