Workaholic: Sure, it’s a buzzword in corporate America, but it’s not just a trendy word or a go-getter attitude. It’s an addiction that can seriously affect both your personal and professional life.
If you think you may be a workaholic, there’s no shame here—but let’s take a closer look at what that means and how to overcome it so you can get healthy and start truly enjoying your job.
What Is a Workaholic?
A workaholic is someone who feels a compulsion, or an irresistible urge, to work whether they want to or not. It’s not the same as really loving your work, and it’s not the same as being overworked—it’s a legitimate addiction.
When you’re overworked, the problem comes from an outside source (in most cases). For example, your boss might be demanding and putting pressure on you to work overtime, or you might be trying to complete a difficult project with a tight deadline. Being overworked can sometimes go hand in hand with workaholism, but workaholism can also exist in very healthy work environments. Being a workaholic is more about your personal work habits and motivations.
Signs You’re a Workaholic
If any of this is starting to sound like I’m reading your mail, but you’re still not sure if you meet the criteria, here are some more signs that can help you figure it out.
Constantly Working Vs. Spending Time Elsewhere
There are 168 hours in a week, and a full-time job should take up about 40 of them, more or less. That’s only about 24% of your week! If your work percentage is way more than that—and you’re saying no to other things like important events, sleep, errands or time with your family so you can get more work done—there may be a problem.
Work is Brought Home
“I’ll just finish a few things at home” can easily turn into another three hours of work in your home office after dinner. I get it, folks. There might be some times throughout your career when you really need to hustle and get your project done. But it shouldn’t become a habit.
And these days, it’s easier than ever to constantly check your email and work messages from your phone and not be fully present (even if you’re trying to do something fun), so the habit becomes even harder to break.