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Workaholism

Are you a workaholic? Do you spend endless hours at work attending to the infinite responsibilities with the general sense that there is more to do than time allows?

You may be one of those employees that can’t turn your thoughts off as you leave for the day; consequently, you are never really “present” when you return home, go to that dinner party, or spend time with your family.

Or maybe you are one of those unfortunate individuals who brings their work home with them. Middle managers, executives, and teachers are notorious for this. Teachers in particular have a schedule where it appears that they get home at a decent hour and yet they spend two- to three hours grading homework. Their job starts at 7:30 am and but may end at 10 or 11 at night. Middle managers do the extras to keep their supervisors happy while executives feel obligated because of their salary, or that overwhelming responsibility that accompanies running a business or agency.

The most resistant workaholic is the person who has no outside life. Their identity rests on what they “do for a living” and consequently they have no sense of balance. They will eat, live, and breathe work, which leaves them no time to explore other areas of their lives.

They may feel some discomfort when engaged in social activities or describe uneasiness in groups or amongst family or intimate relationships. They may lack social skills or experience social anxiety. They need a task with a purpose, so that they will know what ’s expected of them. Unfortunately, this type of workaholic has little desire to change.

Workaholics affect everyone around them. If the workaholic is overinvested it leaves more work for their partner because their loved one must overcompensate by attending to the house, the kids or to his or her own loneliness.

What do you do if you think that you may be a workaholic? It starts by assessing your personal life. Do you find satisfaction in other areas of your life? Is their a desire to balance the emotional, social, familial and spiritual needs that rest within you?

Workaholism is correctable but it won’t reverse itself without a plan.

  • Sit down with a loved one or professional and assess what you may be avoiding by being a workaholic.
  • Create a daily schedule that changes patterns of behaviors. This may require that you limit your after-work activities or that you make yourself come home despite the unfinished work.
  • Plan events in your week that break the cycle of workaholism. Look at the areas of your life that need some work and dete

  • Force yourself to commit to activities that you may be avoiding. Do you fear in engaging in social activities? Do you avoid leisure time? You will need to schedule it into your day to find balance in your life.
  • Plan events in your week that break the cycle of workaholism. Look at the areas of your life that need some work and determine which ones you are willing to invest in. If family life is lacking, commit to spending at least 15 minutes reading to your kids. Or schedule regular dinners three times a week with your family. Change behaviors in small increments to assure success.
  • Practice the behavior at least 21 days before re-evaluating whether it’s working. Check in for accountability. Find someone you trust to give you honest feedback.

You can overcome workaholism. It requires a plan and the desire to want a balanced lifestyle. It will benefit you and the lives around you. It is hard to know what you are missing until you find it!

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