10 Things to Do to Avoid Becoming a Workaholic

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The term “workaholic” can be used to describe people who are devoted to their careers and enjoy their work. But it actually refers to the people who feel the need to work or find themselves working, excessively. This is definitely something that we have all found ourselves guilty of and affected by at some point in our working careers. Work addiction can not only affect one’s health but also relationships too. When it comes to recognising the signs and correcting the issue it is not easy.

What Are The Signs And Why Is It Bad For You?

Although it can be hard to see when you are a workaholic yourself, others may be able to spot some of the signs in you and help you realise your unhealthy work life balance. These can include:

– spending most of your life working 

– compulsive work habits (checking work emails or following up on work calls outside work hours)

– experience anxiety when not working (social anxiety myths)

– distracting yourself from life problems with work

– work is your top priority above health, family, and everything else

– afraid of taking time off

All of these signs will have serious effects on your health, both physically and mentally. It will start to make you feel more stressed and, as a result, will add stress to others lives. It can lead to burnout and other mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression. Then it can affect your productivity at work and home. And importantly, being a workaholic will have direct impacts on relationships in your personal life. Below we have listed 10 tips on how to avoid being a workaholic and to change the behaviour pattern you may have fallen into. (what its burnout)

1 Accept you are a workaholic

If you are in denial about being a workaholic then things will never change. A problem you accept is a problem you can change. You might not be aware that your work behaviour is typical of a workaholic and you may not be aware how long it has been going on. That is why it is important to know the signs and be able to recognise them in yourself. Try to listen to others around you if they express concerns.

2 Understand why you are a workaholic

Being a workaholic means that there are underlying issues causing this behaviour, and if those issues are not resolved then the behaviour will not change. Many workaholics work so much due to fear of feeling insignificant, failure, not being needed or not being enough. They then work harder to earn more, move up the career ladder, or gain praise but this actually causes more false feelings of self worth so they then work as a distraction. You need to think about what you fear and why is it causing you to work so hard?

3 Choose to stay or leave

Think about the situation that you are working in. Some people work in a workaholic driven environment and, on reflection, they dont want to work to that expected level. If that is the case for you then the time has probably come to leave. You will not change the company and its culture so you need to choose what is right for you and your career. 

4 Use your calendar effectively

At work we all use a calendar to plan our meetings and tasks etc, but using it to plan things for your personal life can also be a helpful tool too. Workaholics will lose track of the balance between home and work, so physically blocking out time to do things in their personal lives will help to create balance. Put into your calender gym workouts, lunch breaks, and when to leave work as this will help you stick to it if it is written down in your schedule.

#5 Write down what you value

Take to think about what brings meaning to your life. This will help you notice the imbalance in non-work-related parts of your life that you’ve been trying hard not to face. It could be people, situations or activities that make you feel happy, satisfied and fulfilled. Think about what those are and write them down. This is so you can see the other important things in your life that are not related to work. 

6 Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is something we have addressed lots in our blogs. In this day, mindfulness plays a massive part in having positive mental health. Take time in your day to practice breathing techniques, being present in the moment and noticing things around you. Indulge yourself in a bath, lose yourself in a book or do some yoga. These are all activities that help you slow down and listen to your own body, which in turn will help you see what is important. Mindfulness course oxford

7 Practice saying “no”

Being a workaholic means that you find it difficult to say no when you are asked to complete more tasks and therefore then management continue to give you tasks as they assume you are able to do them. Saying no can be scary and worrying that you will lose out on promotions or perks at work. Try saying things instead like “I’m sorry but I don’t have time to do that right now” or “I can’t help you with this, but I know someone who can”. Saying no sometimes will help to keep your work-life balance in order.

8 Delegate and outsource tasks

Workaholics can find themselves working long hours to finish a task. Which when looking back, they could have delegated that task to someone else. Workaholics often don’t want to delegate or outsource tasks as they have a need for perfection or to please others themselves. This could be a waste of time, as the energy spent on doing this task could have been spent elsewhere. Try to delegate some tasks to others so you can work on things only you can do best. If the workload is too much, outsource it. 

9 Take time off

Although this seems like a simple tip on how to avoid being a workaholic, taking time off can be a hard task for a workaholic. They see it as a failure or weak to take time off but it will help you be more productive when you return to work. Taking time off will prevent burnout and other health issues. It might be using your annual leave for a staycation or time away with your family, or it might be taking time off recommeded by a doctor. It is not weak or a failure to do this at all, it is necessary.

10 Stop Multitasking 

Multitasking involves having more than one task on the go at one time. It has been researched that your brain can only focus on one thing at a time fully. So what you think is productive working by multitasking projects or task is actually only moving back forth from one task to another. This not only affects your physical health but mental and productivity. Try to make a list of what you need to do and the deadline for it and priortise what needs doing first and focus on it fully. 

How to support someone with their mental health

Interested in ensuring you are looking after your employees? Our Mental Health First Aid Training Course is essential for any businesses that want to look after their employee’s health.  For more information, please get in touch.

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