I 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?
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