Six signs that you’re a functioning workaholic

Are you?

Although being a workaholic might not seem like a big deal on the face of it, it can actually have detrimental effects on both your working life and home life. Whether you’re looking for the next promotion or project to get your teeth stuck in to, there is always something in the pipeline to be chasing.  Are you demonstrating any of the following traits of a workaholic?  Yes?  It’s time to make changes!

1.     Constant excuses

Often, workaholics will hide their obsession behind endless excuses. Whether it’s ‘just one more email and I will turn my laptop off’ or ‘I will head home after this phone call’, there is always something getting in the way of you leaving the office and going home to relax. Workaholics will often stay at work past their contracted hours and allow their personal relationships to suffer because of it.

2.     All you think about is work

A lot of us think about work outside of office hours from time to time and there is no harm with this. Workaholics are constantly thinking about what they have to do and should be doing. Common signs include grabbing your work phone as soon as you wake up to checking your emails in bed late at night.

3.     Phone/laptop addiction

Linking closely to the above point is the inability of workaholics to draw themselves away from their phones or laptops. This behaviour is very similar to an alcoholic who can’t tear themselves away from the bottle and consequently miss family occasions and nights out with friends. With your eyes continuously focussed on phone or laptop, you are likely to be completely unaware of your surroundings to the extent that you will be oblivious to your family’s frustrations.

4.     You will always seem busy

Workaholics will purposefully make their schedules as full as possible, this leads them to be late for most things (in your mind this may even be a badge of honour).  You are likely going to be late joining conference calls, turning up late or even cancelling catch up meetings with your staff (oh my, look how busy I am!). This gives the impression of someone who is extremely busy, however it simply demonstrates you are unable to plan your time effectively and think about your productivity and efficiency. Instead of taking time out to consider your Return on Investment, you are always looking for the next project to get your teeth stuck into.

5.     Hard work, little results

Having a packed schedule each day and being productive are two very different things. Anyone can arrange unnecessary meetings and phone calls which take up precious time during the day, however, you are also likely to be the person who is actually very unproductive. Workaholics waste lot of time on any and all tasks instead of putting your energy into essential and productive tasks that will actually aid the business.

6.     Risk of burnout

All of the above five points taken together will eventually and inevitably lead to you burning out and suffering from exhaustion. No one can work at a hundred miles an hour every single day without suffering for it afterwards. In the worst cases, you might even take casualties with you; other team members who have tried to keep up with your way of working, causing secondary effects on the business.  If not at work, there will be casualties within your personal life.

Having read the six traits of workaholics, if you, or someone around you falls into the category, it’s time to do something about it! It’s important to sit back, take time-out and consider how productive you are and which tasks are rewarding you and the business with the best return on investment.  It will also be a good idea to discuss this with someone from your personal life, they are very likely going to let you what’s really going on behind your blurred vision.

Slow down to speed up!

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