4 Signs You’re a Workaholic (and What to Do About It)

When did you last walk out the office at 5pm? Do you regularly miss your favourite yoga class? You might be a workaholic. Here are a few signs to watch out for, and some solutions.

It’s trendy to be busy. It’s something society has largely come to associate with passion, dedication and ambition. But while these might be laudable qualities in and of themselves, they can be dangerous if they start taking priority over your health and relationships. Do you struggle to remember the last time you walked out the office at 5pm to enjoy an evening with friends? Do you regularly miss your favourite yoga class because you’ve got to meet a deadline? The reality is that you might be a workaholic. Here are a few other “symptoms” to watch out for – and some tips on how to deal with them.

1.         You work all the time, day and night

Technology makes it all too easy for us to blur the lines between our professional and personal lives, and checking emails from home or responding to work-related texts over the weekend can quickly become a habit.

Solution: Set boundaries. Your sanity and family life depends on you being present mentally, emotionally and physically, so learn how to push back on unrealistic demands your colleagues and clients may have of you. Above all, learn how to say “no” and how to ask for help.

2.         The idea of a holiday thrills and horrifies you

Do you dream of sipping cocktails on an exotic island but then quickly catch yourself with the thought of, “I can’t do that! What if there’s a crisis at the office?”

Solution: Learn how to delegate and book some time away, even if it’s just a weekend. Don’t take your laptop and adjust your settings so that you don’t receive your work emails on your phone. Prove to yourself that the world will not fall apart without you.

3.         Your body shows signs of wear

Chronic fatigue, insomnia, chest pains, weight issues, anxiety and depression are all signs that your body isn’t coping with the stress you’re putting it under. But your health is critical – without a healthy body, you’re not going to be able to work at all.

Solution: Make time for yourself as much of a priority as your deadlines. Prepare nutritious meals, exercise, and get into bed early without any gadgets or documents. If you need professional help, seek it out, and make those appointments a priority too. It may take some time, but do your best to strip away feelings of guilt that may come with this decision. 

4.         Your social life suffers

Have you lost touch with a couple of friends? Are the invites to dinner parties starting to dwindle? Do you struggle to remember what you used to do for fun?

Solution: Remember that you’re not defined by your work – life is also about interests and passions unrelated to your professional accomplishments, and about relationships with people disconnected to your work. So, invest in these personal drivers and friendships, as they’re far more likely to outlive your busy job.

Perhaps the most important aspect of dealing with workaholism is asking for help. Your superiors and co-workers might have no idea of the pressure you’re under, especially if you give the appearance of coping. Be honest with yourself and others about what you’re going through, and ask for a hand in developing solutions so that you can find a work-life balance that lasts.


Medium: https://medium.com/the-mission/how-to-tell-if-youre-a-workaholic-and-what-to-do-about-it-1483d7c8d6e9

The Ladders: https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/are-you-a-workaholic

Lifehack: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/8-signs-youre-extreme-workaholic.html

Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/09/18/7-signs-you-may-be-a-workaholic/#404d01b270d7

BBC: http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20161017-how-to-tell-if-youre-a-workaholic

Choosing the right medical aid is no joke, but we’ll leave you smiling.