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While all workaholics have similar tendencies, they are not exactly the same. Some are too careless while others dive into projects without thinking. Regardless, they share the common trait of a very imbalanced work-life experience. 

A workaholic feels a compulsion to work and cannot stop this. It is just as much of an addiction as a substance or alcohol abuse. These people cannot help themselves from working. When you are overworked, the root of the problem often comes from an outside source. Your boss may be demanding too much of your time or you may be taking on too many projects. This can go hand-in-hand with workaholism, but sometimes people can be workaholics in healthy work environments. Workaholism is about your personal habits and motivations when it comes to working.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is the importance of work-life balance. Many people have been working from home for a year and a half now and that has come with its own challenges. However, most people have found ways to balance. For workaholics, it can be very difficult to separate these things, especially while working from home. 

In today’s article, we will be providing you with 7 of our best tips on how to create that balance. If you or someone you know is struggling, pass this article on. The best thing we can do is continue to educate ourselves and each other. Let’s get into it!

Signs You May Be a Workaholic

While it may be different in each person, there are some traits workaholics tend to share. Most researchers will define a workaholic as someone who works excessively and is unable to detach themselves from it.

The following is a work addiction scale created by Norwegian researchers from the Department of Psychosocial Science at the University of Bergen. This scale uses seven criteria to assess the likelihood of work addiction in someone.

  1. You try to free up more time to work.
  2. You spend more time working than you intended.
  3. You get stressed if you are unable to work.
  4. You have been told to cut down on work and not listen.
  5. You work to suppress feelings of guilt, depression, or anxiety.
  6. You will choose work over hobbies and leisure time.
  7. You are working so much that you are experiencing health problems.

If you answered yes to any of these points, you might be a workaholic. If that is the case, it is okay! Do not be hard on yourself. There are many ways you can overcome a work addiction and create a better balance.

7 Tips for Success

1. Prioritize Sleep and Getting Enough Rest.

You cannot function without sleep. If you are sacrificing sleep for work hours, you are doing yourself and your job a disservice. Resting throughout the day is crucial for the same reason. Try to build in 15-20 minutes of rest during or after work to decompress. When you give yourself time to chill out and unwind, you think more clearly and are more alert.

2. Learn How to Say ‘No’.

This one might hurt, but it is crucial in achieving that work-life balance. Consider defining exactly what your professional goals are before agreeing to take on more work. Think about boundaries you can set in order to protect yourself from being overworked. Saying no is not a bad thing and does not make you less committed to your job, but more in-tune with yourself and your priorities.

3. Use the 80/20 Rules.

This rule says 20% of what you do can achieve 80% impact when you align your actions to your goals. 20 minutes of meditation, for example, could be a great way to relax and become more open-minded. Eventually, a workaholic will stop overexerting themselves.

4. Straighten Out Priorities.

It is tempting to say yes to everything, but remind yourself that there are certain things that are more important than work. Reflect on what is essential to your work and align your priorities with that. This will boost your productivity and your personal relationships.

5. Find the Motivation to Slow Down at Work.

Workaholics do not see the problem with their actions. If they do see, they do not necessarily want to stop or know how. They need the motivation to transform their actions. Thinking about your partner and the impact your actions may have on them is a great way to motivate yourself to slow down and take a step back at work. Whatever it is, find it and focus on it.

6. Prioritize Your Physical and Mental Health.

When work begins to impact your health, there is a problem. If you are working for 15 weeks straight upwards of 18 hour days, that is unhealthy. You will crash eventually. If you need to give up some hobbies or free time, that is okay. But there is a line when it comes to your health. Know your limits and respect them.

7. Talk to Your Boss.

Sit down with him or her and have an honest conversation about what has been going on in your work life. A good boss would not want you to be overwhelmed and exhausted because they know it will eventually affect your performance. They may be able to help you delegate and divide work amongst the rest of your team. They might have even experienced something similar and can relate. Regardless, telling them could be a very positive thing, especially to have someone else holding you accountable.

A Word From Mental Treat

If you are struggling, consider counseling or therapy. You do not have to struggle alone. There is help available. On Mental Treat, we have many dedicated mental health specialists who know how to work with clients who are workaholics. Speaking with someone can be very helpful, especially if you do not know what your options are for help. We encourage you to look through our platform and find a specialist you can connect with.

Workaholism can affect so many parts of your life. Do not wait until it results in health problems or a failed marriage. We know it can be difficult, but it is always worth it. Take care, and be well.


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