Are You Addicted To Work?
Work addiction is just like most other addictions. It’s hard to break and you’ll need to be mindful about it at all times so that you can wean yourself off this addiction.
The good news is that unlike smoking or drug addiction, it’s easier to stop being a workaholic. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy… and in these times, with the workload and stresses that abound, Jack just might go mad if he doesn’t take a break.
The first step to understanding why you’re addicted to work will be to self-reflect on why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Understanding Your Feelings
Very often, there are feelings of guilt or fear associated with working too much. You may feel guilty at not earning enough to provide for your family. Or maybe you’re working long hours just to please your boss because you fear losing your job.
If you’re an entrepreneur who works 12 to 16-hour days just to speed up the process and earn six figures a month, your lack of patience might be taking a toll on your physical and mental health.
Once you understand what’s making you work such long hours, you’ll be able to understand how to fix the root cause of the problem. In some cases, it would be a good idea to speak to a professional for guidance.
Following A Schedule
The best way to break work addiction will be to have a fixed schedule that you blindly follow. This will mean starting work at the same time every day and stopping at the same time.
Ideally, you shouldn’t be working more than 8 or 9 hours a day. You could push it up to 12 hours, but not beyond that. Even 12 hours is extreme.
If you work a day job, leave the moment work ends. Staying longer at the office is not a reflection of your dedication, but a display of your lack of productivity.
All work you need to complete for the day needs to get done within the working hours. Then it’s time for you to switch off and wind down.
You MUST be extremely strict with this routine of starting and stopping work at the same time daily. This will help you break your addiction to work and help you to let go of the need to keep hustling and grinding to do more and more to a point where it’s a never-ending cycle.
You can get more done in a shorter time by increasing your productivity. Very often, people spend time at the water cooler gossiping, or attending unnecessary meetings that are time wasters.
Eliminate all time-wasting activities from your work schedule. Use a pomodoro timer to keep you on track and focused.
You want to be doing work that matters and not just ‘busy work’ that makes it look like you’re working – but what you’re doing is irrelevant, and you’ll need to spend more time doing the relevant work later.
Whatever can be automated, should be automated. Whatever can be delegated, should be delegated.
Time is your most important resource. Micromanaging and perfectionism will only stress you out. Pass off your mundane tasks to someone else if you can, and only focus on the highly important tasks that matter.
You may need to pay for software or hire help (workers, freelancers, etc.) to handle your workload. The investment will pay for itself many times over by freeing up your time so that you’re not overworked.
Exercise is fantastic for giving you a mental break from the stresses at work. It’ll also release dopamine in your body.
Try to end every workday with a 20-minute exercise session. It could be yoga or sprints or just some bodyweight training. These 20 minutes will help your body stretch the muscles, get the heart pumping and the blood flowing.
You’ll feel better and less stressed out. You’ll also have something to look forward to after work, provided you enjoy the activity you’re doing. So, find one that’s fun.
“Workaholics are addicted to activity; super achievers are committed to results.”
– Charles Garfield
Are You In Denial About Being A Workaholic?
Being a workaholic can have many negative repercussions in your life if you do not get your addiction under control. Just like most addictions, very often, the person who is addicted to work doesn’t see their addiction for what it is.
Their reasons for working so hard are often plausible on the surface. They’re trying to progress in life, or provide for their family or they love their job and so on.
While all these reasons sound good, the results in their life reflect something totally different. They’ve let their health slide because they’re overworking themselves.
Relationship with the spouse is strained and they’re a stranger to their family members. They’re also highly stressed out and life seems to have lost its purpose… and work is the only thing keeping them going.
It can be extremely hard admitting to yourself that you’re a workaholic. A few common signs have been listed below. If you agree with 2 or more of them, you’re probably a workaholic and will need to take steps to remedy this problem.
You’re Always Working
This is the most obvious sign. You can easily work 12 to 14 hours a day and it seems normal to you. In some cases, it could go up to 16 hours or more.
While some minimum wage jobs have 12-hour shifts, these are mandated by the company, and you’re given rest days too.
However, when you’re working from home and subjecting yourself to such long hours daily with minimal rest, you’re a workaholic.
You Have No Time For Your Family
Most workaholics put their family commitments in second place. Work always comes first. Family events, communication, dinner time, etc. are all distractions that get in the way of the work.
A workaholic believes that his family is holding him/her down when they’re desperately trying to provide for them. It’s a strange contradiction – because in the process of providing for their family, they almost end up losing them.
If you often let down your friends and family because of work, you just might be a workaholic.
What’s A Holiday?
Workaholics are so busy working they rarely even think of taking a vacation. If the last time you went on a holiday was years ago, you’re probably a workaholic.
You Think About Work All The Time
If you do go on a vacation, but keep thinking about work, you’re definitely a workaholic.
Be where you are and enjoy the mental break. Leave the stress of work at the workplace.
A workaholic thinks about work while having their meals or talking to others or even watching TV. They can’t think of anything else besides their work commitments.
Addicted To Stimulants
Most workaholics are either addicted to caffeine, alcohol or nicotine.
Very often, caffeine is used to keep them alert so that they can keep going even when they’re tired.
Alcohol and cigarettes help them to calm down because the stress at work gets to them and these deleterious habits are their coping mechanisms.
You’re A Perfectionist
Workaholics tend to be perfectionists, or they have unrealistically high standards for themselves. The work can always be better and improved upon.
They dislike delegating their work because they don’t want to lose control and feel like others will not be able to do as good a job as them. As a result, their hands are full and their workload never decreases.
If you see yourself displaying any of these signs, it’s time to accept that you’re a workaholic and take steps to fix the problem. Speak to a professional and find alternatives to your way of life.
Recognition and acceptance of the problem is the first step. From there, it’s just a matter of better time management, increasing your productivity and learning to delegate more so that you can maintain a good work-life balance.
Whatever you want in life will require discipline to achieve and maintaining a healthy work life balance is a small part of that. And if you want to know more about harnessing the power of self-discipline, then check out the featured resource below for a free report; download, read it and take action 🙂