For the majority of Americans, work takes up 40 or more hours of our week, which adds up to about 19-hundred hours of our year with holidays and vacation. So we’re spending a significant amount of time on work and that’s valued in our society, where working harder and longer is seen as better. Many of us make huge sacrifices for our careers already, but some employers still expect more.
Being dedicated to your work is great, but when you have to be told to stop or have anxiety when you’re not working and have become addicted to your work, you’re a workaholic. There are a lot of workaholics out there and these are the warning signs you could be one of them.
- Work negatively impacts your mental, physical and emotional health - Are you skipping meals and canceling plans to meet work demands? If you’re constantly worrying that you’re failing at your job, you may need to reevaluate your work life balance.
- You never say “no” to work - It may feel uncomfortable or wrong to turn down a work request, but being able to say “no” is a sign of maturity and it’s crucial for establishing boundaries.
- You try to hide the amount of work you’re doing from other people - If you find yourself trying to justify why you need to work extra long or claim it’s “just a one-time thing for tonight” when others raise concerns, consider that a red flag.
- You tie your self-worth to your job - If you do, it’s a fast track to workaholism. Your motivation to work should come from positive emotions, like wanting to help your team or improve yourself. If your motivation from work comes from trying to get rid of negative feelings, like anxiety or guilt, you could be a workaholic.
- Even when you’re not working, you’re obsessively thinking about work - We’re not talking about a fleeting thought, but constantly thinking about work. Your mind needs a break from your job and you should be able to turn off your work brain. If you struggle with that, you may have overworking tendencies.