Hi, I’m Caré and I’m a workaholic.
Whether you’ve been working for a few months or a decade, chances are that you either know a workaholic, or, you are one. If you ever catch yourself checking your emails at a social gathering, then the latter is probably the case – and you definitely need to take a step back and chill the hell out. Unfortunately I am one of those working individuals who doesn’t always know how or when to shut down. So, I decided to step up and fight this work addiction.
Signs that made me realise I was a workaholic
If you experience any or all of these signs, you are officially a fellow workaholic:
1. You eat lunch at your desk – because being out of the office even for an hour stresses you out.
2. You are having more and more dreams about work-related things – I’ve had a few dreams where I wake up in a panic about a project I need to finish, even though I’ve finished it weeks before.
3. You prefer to do everything yourself – There’s a fine line between being a perfectionist and being a workaholic. As a workaholic, I have always preferred to do everything myself, because leaving it in someone else’s hands simply gives me anxiety. Which is obviously ridiculous.
4. You hardly ever leave at COB – I once decided to stay for an extra hour to get more work done, and I only realised I was the only one left at the office at 8 pm.
5. Your conversations with friends are always about work – My friends have begged me countless times to talk about something other than work. They desperately try to change the topic, but I somehow always find a way to steer it back to it.
6. You pitch for work even when you’re sick – I grew up in a house where I didn’t skip school unless I literally almost died. And somehow I’ve managed to apply this to my work life as well. Until coworkers forced this habit out of me, thankfully!
What I did to become more chill and less buzz-kill
1. Admit it – After all, acceptance is always the first step. When I first accepted my condition as a workaholic, I became more aware of my everyday work habits. This made me realise that I really needed to make a few changes to my routine.
2. Restrict your working hours – There are a lot of reasons why working 10+ hours a day is bad for you, including physical and mental health. Unless it’s serious crunch time, there’s a good chance that whatever you’re doing can wait until the next morning.
3. Take your lunch breaks – Your mind needs to switch off from time to time. Enjoy every single bite of your lunch, away from your computer.
4. Remember you’re only human – don’t expect your work to be flawless 24/7. If you tone down on the perfectionism, you will be able to delegate work easier, and get more work done in the process.
5. Learn to say no from time to time – This was (and sometimes still is) my biggest weakness. If you don’t learn to be a little selfish sometimes, you will wear yourself out. Say yes to social events – I find it’s important to spend time with people from outside of work – they help take your mind off work related stress. Even if it’s just once a week, agree to a coffee date, for your own sanity.
I know you love your job, I do to. But taking a step back has made me realise that there’s way more to life than work. Seeing people’s health deteriorate because of stress is quite the wake-up call.
Are you a workaholic? Why not try these tips and let us know what works for you!