Being a workaholic is actually very dangerous. It is certainly true that a workaholic gets the job done and is probably a fantastic asset to the company. At the same time, however, being a workaholic will ruin your social life, can lead to divorce and makes you an absent parent. Not just that, you can experience health problems caused by stress, including a burn out. A workaholic does not live a happy life, does not find meaning to their life. Instead, they have one thing on their mind only: their work, which is often for someone else.
Are You a Workaholic? Workaholic Symptoms to Be Aware of
The first thing you have to do is find out whether you can actually give yourself a workaholic diagnosis. There are a number of signs and symptoms to look out for, including:
• The fact that besides working hard, you have set standards for yourself that are incredibly high. You probably feel that you are not good enough and that there is always something left to do in order to achieve that sense of perfection.
• You are obsessed with pleasing others, putting yourself after anybody else. Because of this, you will miss the fact that you are negatively impacting your own health, but also that you are causing a rupture in your relationships outside of work.
• You feel the need to have control over situations and people. Hence, you will struggle to delegate, preferring to do something yourself to ensure it is done right.
How to Stop Being a Workaholic
There are a number of things you can think about if you want to stop being a workaholic. The biggest problem, however, is admitting that you are one in the first place. Being a workaholic means you are addicted to work, and addicts can only help themselves if they admit they have a problem.
If you find that you are at the point that you can admit you have a problem, the first thing to do is assess your core values. Work needs to stop being your primary focus. You have to be able to move your work life off its pedestal in order to say no to overtime. It is all about prioritizing your life.
Secondly, think about your family. What is more important to you? Having a good relationship with your significant other and your children, or climbing the professional ladder? This is a real question, and an important one, and only you can answer it. However, you must realize you cannot have them both.
Next, consider your health. Even if you are by now at the point that you feel your work is your priority and that it is more important than your family, is it more important than your own health? Are you willing to work yourself into an early grave? Are you willing to go so far that you can no longer function – even at work?
Ask yourself some really poignant questions – do you really enjoy working as much as you do? Do you mean it when you say you love your job? Are there other things in your life that give you a sense of enjoyment, or that could give you a sense of enjoyment if you just had the time to try them out? An enjoyable life is a balanced life and if you are a workaholic, your life is likely to be severely out of balance.
Also, are you working for money? And if so, is this accumulation of money something that has a point if you don’t have the time to enjoy it? Isn’t time more valuable than money, whether it is time you spend with yourself or with other people you care about?
Steps to Take
Once you have answered all of these difficult questions, consider the following steps:
1. How much impact does your work have? Anything you do has to positively impact something or someone else, including yourself. If you find this impact is minimal, try saying no.
2. Accept only a limited amount of assignments and stick to it. Do not accept any other assignments until you have completed the ones you have set.
3. Learn how to be assertive, which will enable you to say “no” to requests.
4. Set a limit on the amount of time you spend working. Refuse to do overtime, or no longer take work home with you. Block your access to your work’s email address from home if you find it difficult to stick to your own resolutions for instance. Stay away from the computer.
5. Give yourself some flexibility. Avoid deadlines as much as possible.
6. Don’t aim for perfection if you can help it. This isn’t because you should hand in a poor piece of work, but mainly because your idea of perfection is generally above and beyond what is needed.
7. Become efficient. Working a lot doesn’t mean you work well.
8. Meditate. When you meditate, you have to stop thinking about other things, work in the case of a workaholic. You will quickly find how enjoyable it is to achieve that state of mind.
Hints and Tips
Set an alarm and if you wake up before it goes off, stay in bed and enjoy a rest. You might even fall back asleep.
Purposely organize interruptions, so you learn to deal with these and even enjoy these.
Remember that your family is far more important than any work task. They would gladly go without certain luxuries if it meant having you around.
Create a hobby and assign time to that and stick to it.
If you feel that you are close to a burnout or are no longer able to cope with stress, go see your medical professional straight away. Workaholism is real and dangerous.