Spending too much time, energy and mental space on your job might indicate a condition called “workaholism.” While statistics vary, 48% of employed Americans feel they are workaholics, according to a 2019 study by The Vision Council. Could you be one of them?
What Is a Workaholic?
If you’ve found yourself wondering, “Am I a workaholic?” then it’s important to understand the difference between working hard at your job and becoming a victim of overwork. A workaholic is someone who prioritizes their job above everything else in their life – including family, friends and hobbies. This may actually lead to an unbalanced work life, as well as stress and other health conditions.
Review the seven signs of workaholism below to see if you fit the description. Remember, you may actually have some of these traits because of busy periods at work; they may not fit you all the time.
- You Have No Work-Life Balance
While achieving perfect work-life balance may seem impossible, having zero work-life balance is a red flag for workaholism. It’s understandable and expected to have periods when your career takes the front seat as the top priority and your personal life is temporarily put on the back burner. However, your personal life should eventually move to center stage again.
- You Don’t Take Breaks
One bad habit that lends itself to having no work-life balance is working constantly without taking breaks. A break may mean a vacation at the end of a few months of pushing toward work goals, or simply getting some exercise away from your desk. Breaks help ensure that your mind and body get a respite from the demands of deadlines and deliverables, as well as difficult bosses and colleagues. A constant slog through work tasks, one after another, without a healthy pause is a signal you may be a workaholic.
- You Always Make Yourself Available
If you’re the go-to person for extra assignments and can be counted on to respond to every text or email no matter the hour it’s sent, then your lack of boundaries suggest workaholic tendencies. Being too accessible to the requests of co-workers and your supervisor – without protecting any time for yourself, your relationships and your outside interests – sets you up for taking on too much work. Others may see this and take advantage of it to help them reach their own goals on the job.
- You Can’t Say “No” at Work
While workaholics may have an easy time turning down requests from friends and loved ones who want to spend time with them, a true workaholic rarely or never declines a request to take on more in their work life. Whether it’s your boss asking if you can put in some extra hours over the weekend, or someone on your team asking if you can help them out in a pinch with additional tasks, workaholics thrive on accepting everything that’s thrown at them without complaint – and in fact may even ask for more.
- You Feel Like You Have to Prove Yourself
With mass layoffs occurring at major tech companies and other organizations, many employees feel like they have to take on as much work as possible to prove their value and avoid being let go. This trend of “scared productivity” is causing workers to up their game, which can lead to workaholism. If you’re always going the extra mile to ensure that your manager understands your worth at the company, be alert to this sign of workaholism.
- You’ve Lost Interest in Other Activities
There’s much more to life than work. If your life has become a monotonous blur of screen-staring and sharing with colleagues and you have no other interests or hobbies, it may be another indicator of workaholism. Devaluing personal priorities and caring only about your professional life can cause you to overwork. You’ll lose a sense of healthy balance between work and play. Just because you enjoy some aspects of your work doesn’t mean you’re engaging in a “hobby” if you’re working after hours. If nothing seems fun or interesting but work, you could be a workaholic.
- You’re Always Stressed Out
Some stress at work is healthy because it helps you to avoid boredom and can keep you feeling challenged and engaged. But if that smaller dose of good stress has morphed into a perpetual feeling of anxiety, workaholism may be just around the corner. Watch out for signs of stress whether you’re working or off the job. If you’re in constant overdrive and can’t get your mind off of work to relax and recalibrate, then workaholism may be to blame.
Only you can say for sure what the best work-life balance is for you. Some people naturally prefer to work more than others.
If you’re concerned you may be working too much, then prioritize flipping the scales to give yourself more breaks, put up stronger boundaries, say “no” more often, and take on a wider range of interests and activities. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy the time you spend at work – and in the rest of your life – more, while staying healthier and better balanced.
Source: us news