Working all year round with little or no time to rest does not mean that you are hardworking, it says you are a workaholic.
Being committed to and passionate about your job are good qualities, but there’s a distinction between having a strong work ethic and being a workaholic. While the former is something to be proud of, the latter is a serious condition.
Being a workaholic can be detrimental to your health and your relationships.
Below are some of the characteristics of a workaholic. Examine yourself against the following traits, and adjust where necessary.
1. You arrive work early and you leave late at night
You might think, “I like coming in early because the office is quieter and I can focus,” or “I like to stay late because it’s a chance for me to organize my projects for the next day.” What you don’t know is that you are overworking yourself. Be careful of doing both all the time. No one is meant to consistently log overtime.
2. Your lunch hour is work hour
You are a workaholic if you believe that the best way to get more work done is to work more hours. “We’re more productive when we build in intermittent periods of renewal during our day,” says Stephanie Marston, a motivational speaker, best-selling author and stress and resiliency expert. In other words, take a lunch break whenever possible. Consistently eating lunch at your desk is a warning sign of workaholism.
3. Your hobbies are all work-related
If when asked what you do for fun, you respond, “I like to read” when what you read are reports for work or “I like to work out” when you read work reports while running on the treadmill, then it’s time to re-evaluate. You need to find some hobbies that don’t involve what you do from 9 to 5. You can enjoy hobbies like cooking, Karaoke, visiting the cinema etc.
4. You are a perfectionist that cannot be satisfied
Being a perfectionist can be a good thing because It’s good to strive for better. However, when you are a perfectionist workaholic, you tend to overwork yourself even when your body and mind wants to rest because you are striving for excellence.
5. You work on vacations
It’s normal to see people work a little on vacation and check your email intermittently “just in case.” But if you’re working more than you’re vacationing while on vacation, you might have a problem. Vacations are good for your health, your psyche and your productivity.
6. You report for duty even when you’re sick
Working while sick is a bad move, and you won’t get kudos for doing so. You could end up making a sickness-induced mistake in your work, and you might take longer to recover because you’re not getting proper rest.
7. You don’t feel well
Similar to abusing a substance, abusing work could also have physiological effects. Research shows workaholics have higher burnout rates, truncated career trajectories, and that they’re at higher risk for heart attack and Type 2 diabetes. They also have a compromised immune system.
8. You cannot delegate
Workaholics tend not to be team players because they think they can do it the best. The reason you work in a department is that it’s impossible to do all the work required alone. Learn to delegate, and then let your colleagues remain accountable for the work they’re assigned to.
9. You don’t know how to say “No”
Not only are you willing to take on extra responsibilities, but you also encourage it. The most productive employees recognize when to speak up. “Sit down with your boss and show him your current responsibilities,” Marston advises. “Then share your concern that if you take on other assignments, it will affect your ability to give your high level of work to your present projects.
10. You prioritise work over personal commitments
Are you known for making a cameo appearance at family gatherings and functions with friends, because you need to rush back to the office even on weekends? Then you are a workaholic. Learn to say no sometimes to overworking, and also work on managing your time to allow for important personal commitments.
Workaholics are like alcoholics. What this means is they’re often are in denial that they have a problem. You can live in denial all year round but your body won’t. So, always ensure to take enough rest because your body and mind need it.
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