There’s a difference between working hard and being a workaholic. Working hard means focused effort to get the tasks done in order to spend time not working. Workaholic means working for the sake of work and without regard for pleasure in the work; there is no other interest outside of work. Workaholics work because of a sense of compulsion – like any addict.
Among the ten signs that you’re a workaholic are that you’re reading this during non-business hours instead of spending time with friends and family. You may not have those people to be with anymore because your work has consumed you for such a long, consistent period of time. It’s a lonely existence.
Here are ten signs that you’re a workaholic:
- Personal life has suffered – You work instead of doing just about anything else.
- No personal life – worse than a suffering life is no life at all. You have no interests or people outside of work with whom you spend time.
- You’re reading this during non-business hours because work is all you know how to do. You’ve lost your sense of being anything outside the office.
- You don’t have set business hours because you’re always working. This one is huge for me. When I don’t have (and stick to) business hours I end up having to work when I should be playing. That sucks.
- You’re always checking your phone and other devices for work emails and updates. This is another sticky one for me. I use social media for my business and that of my clients. Checking in is kind of part of what I do….within reason. No one should be with other people checking their messages – the purpose of you being out with others is to be with them – not just near them. Put the phone away and visit with your friends.
- You can’t get enough of the work-high. I don’t know about you but I LOVE the thrill of the chase. Chasing and closing a deal is like oxygen for me. It also has great potential to be like a drug. I need to find something else with the ‘high’ of closing deals and outside my business. Today I went for a walk at lunch time just to step away from my computer for a few minutes. It wasn’t the ‘high’ but it helped me see there’s more to life than a computer and business deals.
- You’ve ditched a night out with friends to work on or close a deal. There are a few exceptions to this rule but it shouldn’t be the norm. Clients can wait until regular business hours to talk to you about a deal. They will wait or they are not worth it.
- Clients contact you at all hours of the day and night – and you answer the phone or respond to email when it arrives. Let the email sit until business is open for the day. Your clients will understand.
- Your last vacation was a business trip. Take a real vacation away from all electronic devices and email and just relax. (I am working on this; my milestone birthday is coming soon and there’s a beach calling my name…)
- You think working hard means always working. It doesn’t. Focus during business hours and watch your business grow. Stepping away will make you more productive and you may even solve problems while you’re away from the office.
I say all of this because I believe I am on the cusp of becoming a workaholic. I am not happy about this fact and am working to make changes. Have you gotten stuck in work- only mode? How did you get out and get back to living?
Sources: The Truth about Workaholics
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