avoid becoming a workaholic - man sitting next to pile of work

In today’s slowly recovering economy, we are all feeling the strain in one way or another. It seems that many businesses and families have tightened their belts at least a notch or two. In many instances, a smaller workforce is asked to produce more with less. It is tempting to feel the need to work more hours, sacrificing a balanced work/life approach for better financial stability. But is it really worth it?

Here are some characteristics of a workaholic. Do any of these apply to you?

  • ”Plugged in” 24/7
  • Getting less than 6 hours of sleep
  • Avoiding vacation time
  • First one in, last one out at work
  • Unable to relax
  • No clear boundaries between work and personal life
  • Prefer working to other activities
  • Irritable or defensive when approached about work habits by family/friends
  • Constantly volunteering to take on extra projects
  • Bringing work home


Tips for Avoiding Work Addiction

Being a workaholic, like any other addiction, can be destructive to your health, your family, and your career. Here are some tips that will help you maintain a balanced approach to work and life.


Tip 1—Learn to say NO!

You can’t be all things to all people while at work. Assess your tasks daily and complete things in order of importance. If possible, delegate what you can’t get done. Don’t take on extras unless it is urgent (and most of the time it really isn’t).


Tip 2—Get enough sleep.

Most people need between 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Listen to your body and get the proper amount of rest. Worried that you are missing something? Consider the fact that those who don’t get enough sleep are less productive at work.


Tip 3—Unplug when you get home.

Chances are that tweet or FB post won’t be life altering enough to justify hovering over your phone when you could be enjoying friends, family, or some relaxing quiet time.


Tip 4—Create boundaries between work and home.

Leave your work at work whenever possible. If you must take work home, keep it out of site until you are ready to sit down and tackle it.


Tip 5—Practice good time management.

Utilize a To-Do list and a calendar daily for work and home. This will help you stay organized and focused on completing that tasks that are most important.


Tip 6—Don’t become a slave to your email/social media.

Designate a couple times during your work day to check email and social media platforms. A good rule of thumb would be upon arrival, after lunch, and before leaving for the day. Otherwise, ignore it. Many people waste time and limit productivity by checking their email every time they get an alert. In fact, one statistic we came across states that employees require around sixteen minutes to refocus after responding to an incoming email. What a time sucker!


Tip 7—Get a life!

Enjoy family time, hobbies, sports, prayer… anything that makes you happy when you leave work.


Tip 8—Take care of yourself.

You work hard; reward your body by eating right, exercising, and getting some well deserved R & R. It will help increase your productivity and overall well-being.


Tip 9—Get professional help.

If you feel that you are a workaholic and that you are unable to get control of the situation, seek help. There are very effective treatment options to help you strike a balance.

Hopefully these tips will help you strike the ideal balance between work and life. By following these steps, you can increase your happiness, time management and personal productivity.

Leadership Excellence provides leadership training in Medina and Greater Cleveland, Ohio with personalized business coaching, life coaching, organizational leadership development, personal leadership, and other professional services catered to clients’ specific needs. Please contact us for more information or to get a free quote.

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