What To Do When You’re A Workaholic

What To Do When You're A WorkaholicI used to be a big workaholic. At one point I had my 50 hour a week analyst day job, I was working towards my Finance MBA full-time (12 to 14 credits each semester, including Summers), and I was freelancing online. I was working around 80 to 100 hours each week.

Then even before that, I was working full-time as a retail manager, attending college as a double major (I was taking around 24 credits each Spring and Fall semester, and 12 to 14 in the Summers) and I was involved in school clubs as well, which meant I was busy altogether for around 80 hours each week.

So, for around 6 to 7 years, I was working between 80 to 100 hours a week constantly, and I definitely felt the strain from that. I didn’t have many breaks, except for a vacation one or two weeks each year.

I barely ever saw my friends, I didn’t really make any friends from the college I went to (How sad is that? There was just no time), I hardly ever took care of myself (eating healthy or working out was not in my vocabulary at that time haha), and so on.

Everything was focused on working.

I’m definitely happy with how my life turned out, but sometimes I wonder if I worked myself too hard. I have huge bags under my eyes to show proof of the many sleepless nights I had.

I also know that I worked hard during those years as a way to not think about how my dad passed away when I was 18, which I know is not healthy. Being busy 100 hours a week meant that I never gave myself time to deal with what was going on.

Being a workaholic isn’t always bad though. You are probably a good worker and you just want to succeed in life. However, is there a line between being successful and being a workaholic?

You might be a workaholic if:

  • You always work on your lunch break.
  • You always take work home.
  • You work on vacation.
  • You work a LOT.
  • You never see people that you love.
  • You do nothing else besides work.
  • You can’t sleep because all you think about is work.
  • You have no hobbies except for making money.
  • Others say you work too much and are complaining about you.

 

Here are things you should think about if you are a workaholic.

 

Do you know why you’re a workaholic?

First, you need to think about why you’re a workaholic. If you are trying to get out of debt, then a little bit of workaholic-ism may be needed if you want to get out of debt quickly.

However, if you are a workaholic because you are trying to escape problems in your life, you are afraid you are going to lose your job (I have a friend who was recently diagnosed by a doctor with a disorder because they were so obsessed about losing their job even though they are a great worker), or something else, then you need to reevaluate what’s going on and try to find a better solution.

 

What’s more important to you in life?

Is there something else in life that you would rather be doing instead of working every single minute that you are awake?

Maybe you want to start spending more time with your family, more time with your friends, being more healthy, volunteering, and so on. You need to find a way to work the things that you love into your life.

 

Have a schedule.

If you don’t already have a schedule that includes others things in life besides just work, then you need to create one.

A realistic one.

You need to find a way to put down your work at a certain time so that you can do other things in your life as well.

For example, if you often find yourself working when you get home from work, you may want to create a schedule that says that starting at 6 p.m. work is over for you. 6 p.m. marks when you can start enjoying yourself, you can eat dinner with your family, read a book and so on.

You need to find a way to put fun things in your schedule because that may be the only way you let yourself do them!

 

Think about outsourcing.

Is there a service you provide that you could outsource? Maybe you don’t do it as quickly and someone else could do it more quickly.

Or, maybe you could outsource a service and then focus on other things so that you can increase your revenues. Outsourcing can be a great way to find more time for yourself. You probably can’t realistically do everything yourself anyways.

 

Work more efficiently.

When you are working, you should try to eliminate all distractions. Turn off the TV, turn off any music if you find that distracting, work in an office, close your social media accounts while you are trying to work, and more.

Also, are you good at multi-tasking? If not, then you should stop. Most people are not good at multi-tasking and all it means for most people is that you are spending extra time doing something when you shouldn’t. Remember that switching from one task to another over and over again means that there will be at least SOME amount of time wasted.

 

Are you a workaholic? Or have you been?

 

 

Comments

  1. DC @ Young Adult Money says

    I’m definitely a workaholic right now but I think it’s just the “season” of life I’m in. If I didn’t have a side hustle it wouldn’t be that bad, but having a side gig motivates me and gives me energy, plus it helps and should continue to help us reach our financial goals. I don’t see it changing.

  2. Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank says

    I haven’t been having my lunch break lately and I have been going home late :(
    I know it isn’t good for me or my staff to see me doing it, but for the short term until I get a new person to replace the 2 people we had leave over the last few months there just isn’t enough people in the team to do the work, and so someone has to do more hours unfortunately :(

    Perks of being a manager.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Enjoying the Little Things and Doing it CheaplyMy Profile

  3. Holly@ClubThrifty says

    I am definitely a workaholic, but it has gotten much better since I quit my 9-5 last Spring. Now I just need to be careful not to tinker too much and to focus on “real work.” I waste a lot of time if I’m not careful and it cuts into my productivity while accomplishing nothing.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Car Payments SuckMy Profile

  4. John @ Sprout Wealth says

    This is something I definitely struggle with. It can be so easy to fall into that trap, especially when you work for yourself. That said, I’ve found that setting a schedule for myself and outsourcing have helped out a lot though the biggest thing has likely been simply learning that some things can go undone until I get more time for them. I like my sleep too much. :)
    John @ Sprout Wealth recently posted..Successful Entrepreneurs Know When to Walk AwayMy Profile

  5. Sov says

    Funny – I was just thinking along these lines. I’ve been a workaholic for over 20years – grinding away for various companies. I’m now trying to achieve Financial Freedom and have, by chance, just been made redundant. I thought redundancy would give me the opportunity to work less – but guess what – I’m now working harder than ever. But I’m enjoying it and it doesn’t feel like work!

    Anyway, as Confucius said…

    “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

    Good luck!
    Sov
    http://www.break50.com

  6. Tonya@Budget and the Beach says

    I don’t think I’ve ever been a workaholic. I crave balance and easily feel out of balance and out of sorts in my mind and body if I work too much. The downside is I may not be as far ahead as my workaholic peers both professionally and finically. But that’s a sacrifice to some extent I’m willing to make. I just don’t want life to pass me by without enjoying it. My producer is a workaholic and is on his third marriage and he and some of the kids are alway in therapy. I can’t imagine jeopardizing my relationships like that!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted..Sacrificing a Small Trip Today for a Big Trip TomorrowMy Profile

  7. Jennifer says

    I am struggling a bit with this as my small blog is becoming medium sized. I know that when I work more, I make more money. There are always 100 tasks to complete, and when I complete them, there are 100 more. It is difficult for me to take more than one day completely off, yet I feel as though I should be able to enjoy an entire weekend with my family. I suppose it is this way for anyone who starts a business and can’t yet afford to hire help. I have a 9 day vacation coming up in 1 month. I have decided to write a couple of articles and schedule them to post. Then I will check in with followers on social media via my phone. I am planning to only work on my blog if there is a rainy day (and it is the east coast, so if there isn’t a rainy day, it will be the best vacation ever!). It is very difficult to find a work-life balance when you are self-employed.
    Jennifer recently posted..By: MomsgotmailMy Profile

    • Michelle S. says

      Yes, it is hard to find a work life balance when you work for yourself, but it is possible! I have been getting more and more better at it.

      Also, I always try to write in advance as well, especially before a trip. It makes everything much more easy.

  8. Joshua says

    I used to be a workaholic and I’m glad I was. It got me where I am today. A while back, I started taking an hour a day with no computer in my lap to enjoy the company of my fiance. One hour became two, two became three. Then, I found myself outsourcing a lot of my work so I could spend more time with her. These days, I work about 40 hours a week, sometimes 20 if it’s a good week, and I’m comfortable! However, being a workaholic for 6 years is what made it all possible!
    Joshua recently posted..Are Secured Credit Cards Not Doing It AnymoreMy Profile

  9. Fig @ Figuring Money Out says

    I’ve caught myself being a workaholic at various jobs but usually once I notice it’s happening I readjust my priorities. I don’t want to spend my whole life working and prefer a more balanced lifestyle because that keeps me balanced mentally and I’m happier that way. :)

  10. Retired by 40 says

    Ugh….This is so me. I finally decided that from 5-7 pm when I get home from the day job, I will put the computer, phone, and tablet down, and focus on family. After the baby goes to bed I can work as much as I want, but I find that I enjoy that 2-hour break!

  11. Cat@BudgetBlonde says

    Workaholic right here. I wish it was different. I have trouble enjoying anything because I always feel like I should be doing something else. I was the same way in college – I didn’t really enjoy the weekends or nights out because I always felt like I should be using that time for something productive.

  12. Aldo R @ MDN says

    I think having a life – work balance is essential to achieve happiness. By working too much and too hard, you ignore some of the good things in life – family, friends, pets, the outdoors. I understand that we need to work a little hard to be successful but you should draw a line of how much is too much.

    My main advice for workaholics is to get a hobby. Learning how to play guitar is not that hard now with youtube and a bunch of other websites that help you, all you need is 15-20 minutes a day and in a few weeks you’ll be playing some songs – easy songs but songs nonetheless.
    Aldo R @ MDN recently posted..Introducing “The Friday Five”My Profile

  13. E.M. says

    I used to be a semi-workaholic at my previous job. I say semi, because I couldn’t really work from home, but if I could, I probably would have. As it was, I came in early, stayed late, didn’t take my lunch, and some days, didn’t even take a bathroom break. It was non-stop “go go go!” I left because it became too stressful. Trying to achieve some sort of balance is more important to me.
    E.M. recently posted..Can You Stand the Heat?My Profile

  14. Lisa E. @ Lisa vs. the Loans says

    I totally get it – sometimes being a workaholic allows me to run away from certain personal problems that I just don’t want to deal with. But I’ve come to realize that sometimes, it’s just better to deal with it all head on instead of delving deep into my work. I’m glad I’ve found a decent balance for now between my work life and personal life.

  15. Kassandra says

    I am definitely someone who works a lot of hours but over the past year I have decided to dial back a bit and spend more time with family and doing other things I enjoy besides working. I have even set my smartphone to stop incoming work e-mails after 7 p.m. until 8 a.m. every week-day and that has helped a lot!

  16. Melanie @ My Alternate Life says

    I am definitely a workaholic. I’ve always been this way, but it has gotten worse as I try to pay off debt and jump more into freelancing. I am paying my dues. It’s hard, but I dig it. I also have a hard time relaxing, but I’m working on it. :)

  17. Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter says

    I used to be what one might call a workaholic, but that was more out of necessity/the desire to not have debt. I worked full time during school, and also took more than a full course load and took a second job. Plus I had my blog.. and at the time was babysitting for side income. I think at that point I was running on pure adrenaline.
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted..Simple Things You Can Do to Be Environmentally Friendly and Save MoneyMy Profile

  18. Broke Millennial says

    Good for you to recognize that you’re a workaholic and try to make some changes. I watched my Dad work constantly my entire life and have a hard time unplugging during family vacations (even back in the day when he’d have to find an internet cafe to access email or pay big fees at hotels). I sort of miss that it used to be hard to be on the grid during vacations. Now most jobs expect you to access email.

    Anyway, I made a vow to try to avoid being a workaholic and for the post part, I’m pretty good at unplugging on vacation — well, sort of. I just try to only spend an hour a day on work stuff!

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