What To Do If You Are A Workaholic: Looking For A Balance Between Work And Leisure

The desire to work hard and even recycle is highly valued in society. We can say that being a workaholic is even an honor. But few people think that it harms a person’s personal life, violates physical and psychological health. So how do you find a balance? Answers in this 

It should be noted that the desire to devote maximum time to work and bring things to the end is not always a symptom of workaholism. Problems begin when a person ceases to simply love work and falls into an emotional dependence on it. Career expert Melody Wilding gives advice on how to recognize and deal with workaholism.

How to understand that you are a workaholic

Workaholism was first introduced by Wayne Oates about half a century ago. He described it as an uncontrollable need to work non-stop. Wilding advises that to understand whether this problem is relevant for you, you need to ask yourself the following questions. Do you like your job? Or are you literally obsessed with her? What motivates you to complete your career goals?

You love your job if you do it with passion, pleasure and diligence. But if you can’t cope with all the tasks or they begin to threaten your health, you can easily stop, take a break, and delegate some of the responsibilities.

If the thought of sharing duties is unacceptable to you; you perform all tasks due to internal coercion, you cannot stop working even if you feel unwell; but the work does not cause any positive emotions – most likely, you are a real workaholic. This can also be indicated by obsessive thoughts about working in your free time.

According to psychotherapist Brian Robinson, obsession with work is not determined by the time spent on it, but by how a person feels about it.

Here are the symptoms of workaholism, physical and psychological:

  • you force yourself to work;
  • blame yourself if you think you could have done more;
  • at any time and under any conditions you think about a career:
  • you work too much, wear out, harming your health;
  • do not remember the last time you were on vacation;
  • respond immediately to any messages from colleagues, superiors and clients, even at an odd hour;
  • do not trust anyone with your duties;
  • suffer from insomnia, fall asleep for a long time, see nightmares;
  • put work above personal life;
  • became irritable and nervous;
  • feel recurrent pain in the back, neck or other parts of the body;
  • you have trouble breathing or any other sudden illness.

If you have at least some of these signs, it can later result in more serious health problems, up to a nervous breakdown. It has been proven that workaholics are more likely than others to experience insomnia, overweight, and headaches. They are also more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease. Personal life also suffers from the obsession with work. Children and spouses of workaholics constantly suffer from the fact that a loved one cannot be present in their lives either physically or emotionally.

Finding a balance

Melody Wilding notes that permanent employment is what the world expects from a successful person in a career. Therefore, many have a stereotype that it is necessary to be a workaholic. Getting rid of this setting is very difficult. Changing jobs won’t help. It is important to learn how to combine work with leisure and personal life.

Start with these steps:

Determine the cause of addiction

Understand why you suddenly became obsessed with your career. Perhaps you stay in the office to avoid fights at home? Or do you not feel important, so you try to establish yourself by completing different tasks? Find what you are missing in life, what gap you are trying to fill with work.

Recognize what you have to sacrifice

Analyze your life to understand what you sacrifice for the sake of work. What things necessary for happiness it does not allow you to realize. Talking to friends and family, an outsider’s perspective can be helpful.

Imagine your best version

This exercise will help you identify what you are missing in order to make your life happier, more productive, and better. Grab a pen and paper and take 15 minutes to write down all your thoughts on what your best version should look like. What do you want to become in the future: how to look, feel, work, relax?

Don’t criticize yourself

If you did not have time to finish everything you started, this does not mean that you are a terrible employee, a lazy person and a bad person. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and you are not a robot to always do everything perfectly. Just allow yourself some freedom. Do not criticize yourself, do not blame, do not force. Treat yourself the way you would treat a loved one in a similar situation – calm down, support.

Divide time

You should have a strict framework of work and rest. The time devoted to the latter should not be overshadowed by thoughts of unfinished business. Therefore, learn to refuse, to take on only what

really capable. Discuss responsibilities with your superiors if you feel like you’re overworking.

Make a schedule of pleasant things

Small pleasant rituals in the morning, afternoon and evening will help reduce stress levels and feel more in control of time. Find things to do that will make you happy, increase your productivity, help you relax. Do them every day at the same time.

Don’t let stress rule you

If difficult emotions take control, try to deal with them with the following technique. Ask yourself what are you feeling right now: hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Knowing the answer, it will be easier for you to restrain yourself and make adequate decisions.

Feel free to ask for help

And finally – if all of the above does not give the desired result, or if you need more resources to solve the problem – do not delay. Turn to an expert: a psychologist, psychotherapist, career coach.

As you know, nothing happens overnight. Melody Wilding also reminds me of this. She says that the way of life and thinking of a workaholic is formed over the years. It won’t change quickly. Be ready for a long and painstaking work on yourself, arm yourself with patience, motivation and do not forget: a career is not the only possible meaning of life. Share with us, do you manage to find a balance between it and everything else?