Workaholic or Not

How appropriate that on “throwback Thursday”, I talk about being a “workaholic“.  In my previous life (COO for a non-profit, Grants Manager and a social worker), I didn’t know that I was a workaholic.  I thought I was just passionate about my job.  Then we went on a cruise and I had NO communication with the outside world (no cell phone or internet).  SMACK!!!

I got up early, worked late, and obsessed about all things work.  I mean how many people would actually commute 2 hours one way to work, work a 40 hour work week, take work home with them AND be on call 24/7.  Not sure if you are a workaholic – ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you dismiss breaks (hah! – times wasters)
  • Do you work more than your colleagues
  • Are you only passionate about work
  • Are you usually the first one at work, or the last to leave
  • Do you sacrifice time for yourself for work
  • Does your social life revolve around work or do you NOT have a social life

If you answered yes to more than two of these, chances are you are a workaholic.  Here are some ideas courtesy of Chapter Friday on how create more of a work/life balance:

1. Work fewer hours.  Has panic set in hearing those words.  The truth is that your boss and co-wokers will understand that you need a life too.  Scheduled till 5PM, make it a point to leave no later than 5:30PM.  I suggest the half hour grace period because I have been there.  Believe it or not, you might even become more productive by working less, as you’re likely to have more energy, and be more enthusiastic about getting back to work.

2. Leave your work at the office. ACK!!!! Honestly, during the work week, do you really get much work done at home if you are staying at the office hours on end.  Bringing home work is not good, take it from one who did it ALOT.  Take some time after work for you AND your family (or friends).  Live in the moment and you will be surprised at the change it will make in your life.

3. Take a real break – even just a 10 minute one.  Do you eat lunch at your desk? Do you skip getting coffee because you might be away from your desk too long?  Give yourself a real break to go and eat lunch outside the office, or where you go an sit outside during your quick lunch break. Even taking 10 minutes away from your laptop during lunch can make a world of different.  

4. Work smarter.  Lean how to say no (it is NOT a dirty word) to all those extra meetings and ‘quick’ requests that rob your of your precious time. Remember that urgent phone calls and deadlines are a great way to say no too – a simple, ‘Sorry, I have a deadline that needs to be completed first’ will suffice. 😉

5. Avoid becoming an addict.  Yes, being a workaholic is much like being an addict.  Take it from one who knows.  A promotion sounds great – more money, right?  But is it worth it if you have to sacrifice your family and friends.  There’s nothing wrong with hard work, and hey, it’s great if you want to work hard! But when workaholism becomes all consuming, where your life is dependent on your work – you might want to consider if you’re working just a little bit too hard.

The truth is you can be a workaholic whether you work for someone else or if you have your own business.  Do you think you, or a friend, might be a workaholic?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

3 thoughts on “Workaholic or Not

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