Being a hard worker is something that our American culture deems as a good thing. And, indeed, when it comes to planning for your future and to your bank account, working hard can be a very good thing. However, it is possible to work TOO hard. After all, as they say, everything in moderation, right?
If you are letting work control your life and take the joy from it, then you’re definitely working too hard, and you’re not going to have time to enjoy all those things you’re working so hard for.
In fact, if working controls your life, you may be a workaholic, meaning that you’re addicted to your work the same way an alcoholic is to alcohol. The first step in overcoming your addiction to work, however, is realizing and admitting that you actually do have a problem. The easiest way to tell if you’re bordering on workaholic territory is to be on the lookout for these tell-tale signs:
First to Get There, Last to Leave
If you’re working harder than everybody else, even the big boss, seems to be, this is a good indicator your work/life balance is getting out of whack. Do you often get to work earlier than your co-workers or even your superiors? And, if so, do you also stay on working after everyone has gone home to their families? If so, it’s definitely time to get your priorities in check and remember what truly matters most.
You’re Always Thinking About Work
Do you find that, once you’ve managed to pry yourself away from the office, you’re still thinking about it? Maybe you can’t concentrate on your favorite TV show because you’re stressing over work projects or you’re worried about how your latest work move is going to play out. If you find your mind consumed with thoughts of work, even when it should be the furthest thing from your mind, you may need help.
Work is Priority #1
Work is important, but if it’s truly the MOST important thing in your life, to the point where you let relationships, hobbies, interests, and just plain taking care of yourself fall by the wayside, something is definitely wrong.
You Don’t Believe in Breaks
Finally, if you find that you don’t take breaks anymore or that, when you do, you work through them- such as eating lunch while you’re doing paperwork- you’re definitely being too tough on yourself and putting too much value into your work.
If these signs do apply to you and you are a workaholic, don’t worry. You can try re-prioritizing on your own. And, if that doesn’t work, you may find it helpful to speak with a counselor about your dependence on work and what strategies you can try to overcome it. After all, life is about so much more than just doing a job!