Are you self medicating to keep up with your peers?

I’d had 3 hours sleep. An energy-sapping day networking at a conference loomed large in my consciousness. I was fairly confident that I would be fine and get through the day. How did I know that? The benefits of having two young children have taught me that adrenaline will get me through these tough situations – regardless of the amount of sleep that I have had that night. In effect, I am self-medicating to get through my day.

Using (and occasionally abusing) adrenaline is just one of the ways we self-medicate to get through the day. Caffeine is another popular soft drug of choice. Do you routinely need a large cup of coffee in the morning to get going? This is self-medicating. This doesn’t become a problem until you HAVE to have caffeine or you can’t function properly during the day. I was speaking to a young partner at the conference who was regularly working 70-80 hour weeks. A normal day for him would start at 09:00 and he considered an early finish to be 20:00. As we talked, he enjoyed his espresso… and the penny dropped, he was self-medicating himself with caffeine to routinely put in the 12-14 hour days. No wonder he was a lousy sleeper and always tired.

Very often we push our concentration to the limit, just to be seen as a player at work. We expect that we can still be at the top of our game, 10 hours into a 12 hour working day. And we do this, day after day, after day. It’s no wonder that we need caffeine and adrenaline to keep us awake and alert, and tobacco and alcohol to help us distress and unwind at the end of the day.

Now, I’m focusing on ways in which we legally self-medicate to keep in the game at work. I am aware that it’s not unheard of for professionals to use harder and illegal drugs to maintain their hectic lifestyle. If your medication of choice has turned onto illegal substances, then I urge you to seek professional help for your problem.

Next time you rely on adrenaline to get you through the day, or caffeine to wake you up, or alcohol or a cigarette to relax you, ask yourself what you could do differently to prevent the need to self-medicate?

Comments
Old Greying Accountant's picture

Starting the day at 9.00am ...    1 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... is he a man or a mouse? The day is half over by 9.00am!

Not waste time    2 thanks

girlofwight | | Permalink

Not waste time in drivel like this, would be a starter :)

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Meoow ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... and its still nearly 2 weeks to full moon!

This is the blogs section after all, I like to have a quiet browse here whilst self-administering my morning infusion of C8H10N4O2  !

I always find

girlofwight | | Permalink

howling at the moon a great relief, and better for the digestive system than coffee.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I thought for me ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... that would be a given - :o)

Multi vit tablets    1 thanks

philh74a | | Permalink

I sometimes dabble with Centrum Performance when I'm feeling weary. It is a mutli vit with added Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba. I like to think it helps in a little way.

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I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my latest book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' was published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.

Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.

Read how we have helped one of our accountancy clients access Growth Accelerator funding to grow their turnover by nearly 50% and profits by over 200%

The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:

1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up 

2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients

3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the  lead generation by marketing to a niche

4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.

The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business. 

My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.

My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potentialventure-NowJoined up networking and How to make partner.

To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.

My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.