Signs that you are a workaholic – and what you need to do

Here we look at how to recognise the signs and what you can do to keep your work, health and personal life in…

Demands at work and constant connectivity thanks to technological advancements mean it is not surprising that symptoms of the workaholic are on the rise.

The rise of workaholics

The way we work and how the average working day looks has had a gradual overhaul, with technological, social and financial developments changing the nature of the daily grind.

Many of us are constantly switched on, with the 9 to 5 becoming more demanding than ever before.

A University of Bergen study suggests that almost 10 per cent of workers in Norway are so focused on their employment that it impacts their health.

Chicago psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo proposes that this figure is probably higher in American culture. Such findings support the notion of increased work pressures and their potentially detrimental impact on our lives.

Are you a workaholic?

Consider whether any of the following may apply. According to the aforementioned study, answering ‘always’ or ‘often’ to four or more of these points means it is possible you are a workaholic.

  • Your leisure time and enjoyment-centred activities are towards the bottom of your list. Exercise is also not given a priority in your personal life.
  • Colleagues, friends or family have suggested that you cut back at work, but you shrug it off.
  • You often work longer hours than intended, whilst also finding yourself stressed and anxious if you are unable to work when you feel you need to get tasks completed.
  • Work is a way of dealing with low mood, anxiety or guilt.
  • You have noticed health issues as a result of working so much.

What can a workaholic do?

For most of us, work is a huge part of life and a non-negotiable necessity; however, there are ways of dealing more effectively with work stresses and responsibilities, adapting your perspective on the situation and how you manage it.

Lombardo suggests a few key pieces of advice when looking at overcoming the workaholic cycle. Firstly, take a personal inventory and think of three areas of your life that are valuable and important to you that you want to nurture when you are away from work.

Make your breaks count during your average working day and use them wisely to recharge, meditate and relax. It is also important to try to pencil in more breaks during your day before and after work, even if it is just for a ten-minute walk or five minutes to listen to some uplifting music.

Next, be assertive when it comes to your time and boundaries. Your time and your wellbeing are important, so let others know when you are available and when you are not. They will respect you more for holding your ground.

It is crucial to get a healthy, balanced perspective on what work means for you. Running yourself into the ground can have various negative effects on your home life and health, which won’t benefit you at work either.

If you need support, reach out or consider speaking to management to negotiate healthier working habits.

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