Early signs of Workaholism
Signs that youíre a workaholic
Saturday night and youíre at homeÖ working. This would normally be the
time to share some good times with friends, but not anymore.
Ever since that big promotion, youíve decided that work has to come
first. Working at home isnít that bad every now and again, right? Wrong.
Once it becomes a regular routine, you might be unknowingly starting a
new career as a workaholic.
ĎWorkaholicí sounds like a buzzword for office overachievers, but in
todayís competitive workplace, workaholism is an all-too-common problem
that is characterised by an addiction to work. Just like any dependency,
itís a serious cause for concern.
The boss might think that a workaholicís long hours and superhuman work
ethic are great for business, but thatís often not the case.
The greater the workload, the more damage you can do to your social
life, your health and your emotional well-being. If you think that being
a workaholic is honorable, think again. In the long run, it will hurt
your career more than help it.
Are you a workaholic? We decided to take a closer look at the warning
signs and what you can do to stop them in their tracks.
Working outside the office:
When the workday ends for everyone else, yours continues. It might be an
evening, a weekend or even a vacation. It doesnít matter, because if
youíre not doing at least some work, youíll feel bored and unproductive
or, worse yet, worried out of your mind that youíre not doing more work.
Believe it or not, working past quitting time will hurt your
productivity and your overall performance. Itís also a health risk, as
it can trigger numerous ailments, make you tired and evoke a general
feeling of isolation.
Solution: If youíre constantly working at home, you need to
reclaim your peace and quiet and give your office space the boot. Itís
easier said than done, but you can start by keeping track of how many
work hours are being put in at home. From there, formulate a plan to
gradually lower them. Donít rush.
Take small steps, such as not working on specific days, but be prepared
for some bumps and bruises along the way. Just like kicking the toughest
of bad habits, choosing to cut down on work will induce some withdrawal
symptoms in the early stages.
Depression and anxiety are some of the most common afflictions, but even
with short-term setbacks, you and your body will be better off in the
While youíre dealing with these changes, take a trip to your doctor for
a full physical. Ensure that youíve got a clean bill of health and then
make physical activity, sleep and a healthy diet the staples of your
When youíre planning your next vacation, make sure that it doesnít
involve work. Vacations shouldnít be complicated by business. Your
relaxation time comes first.
Never fully disconnecting from work
You might not be at your office around the clock, but most of your time
is still based around work. Your important clients and coworkers all
have your cell number when they need you. Your laptop is never out of
sight, in case you need to log in at a momentís notice.
It might feel like youíre only making yourself available, but work is
now taking priority over everything else. When that happens, you wonít
make the time for extracurricular activities that are important for you
Solution: If youíre maintaining a 24/7 connection with work, itís
time to change your subscription and add a few new lifestyle channels.
That means making the time for new and satisfying activities that will
energise your mind and body Ė not just your
Blackberry typing skills.
Even better are hobbies that will add diversity to your overall
lifestyle. If your work keeps you inside and mostly stationary, your new
hobbies should take you outside Ė taking on jogging or golf as regular
activities would certainly do the trick. The key is to pick something
that you like, so that you can balance your lifestyle with the right mix
of work, relaxation and fun.
If youíre feeling less Ďtuned iní to the office on your off-hours, itís
a good thing. Donít feel guilty. Your new disconnection from the office
will only serve to strengthen your abilities when youíre back on the
Constantly talking about work
It might be your friends, it might be your wife; if someoneís willing to
listen, youíre more than happy to talk about work as much as possible.
Maybe itís another project or a boss you dislike Ė either way, you have
to talk about it. While a little bit of work chatter is certainly
allowed, you arenít actually paying attention to the people closest to
Your relationship isnít with them, itís with your work, and the people
in your life are turning into accessories. By harming your personal
life, you are only encouraging yourself to keep working, especially when
you push away the ones who care about you the most.
Solution: The topic of work might matter to you, but itís not
necessarily popular with everyone else. Your friends and loved ones want
you to be happy, but you need to give them their due attention as well.
That starts with recognising the effect that work is having on your
conversations and intimate relationships as a whole.
As with other addictions, an honest awareness of your problem goes a
long way. Be honest and ask your family and friends for their feelings
on how your work issues are affecting them. It wonít be an easy
conversation, but it will be a step in the right direction.
A perfect life balance for some might mean steady work, steady
relationships and steady health. Certain people are more adept at
balancing than others and when it comes to work, itís easy to let your
mind and body get lost in the shuffle.
The allure of a new job and a challenging workload might sound
attractive on paper, but as you climb up the corporate ladder, donít
forget to take care of yourself along the way. Otherwise, you could lose
everything else in the process.