Thursday, January 18

You’re Workaholic & We Know It!

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You can work hard as much as you want but please let me tell you abandoning every person, your health and your life for the sake of work…It doesn’t mean you are a “hard worker”.. It means you are a “WORKAHOLIC”.

At the very beginning, let’s clarify that the term workaholic is very often used inaccurately, to describe an energetic person who devotes a lot of time to work. Simply, it’s not true. By definition, workaholism is an obsessive need to work, or compulsiveness (obsession) about working; akin to obsessive compulsive disorder. So if that person has good relations with his family, co- workers and friends, taking pleasure on a regular basis, knows how to rest well, and refuses to work on weekends; that person is not a workaholic. That person is a hard working person. In our everyday life, it is not so easy to recognize and understand a workaholic person. It is not so easy because of many misconceptions about workaholism.

Many people believe that our modern, fast society makes many people workaholics, intentionally or not. Workaholics are praised and often promoted at work for being responsible and hard- working. Unfortunately, many times the company uses that to encourage the workaholic person to work even harder, which can lead, in some cases, to addiction.

Who is paying the price? You bet, workaholics have to pay an enormous price.

What is the reason for workaholism? There are so many reasons, but some of the main ones are: competition among co-workers, a desire to show loyalty to the company, tight family budget, and constant demands from management and current corporate culture, which is a monumental obstacle.

How to describe the characteristics of a workahoilic personality?

BULIMIC WORKAHOLIC STYLE: The motto of this style is “either I do it perfectly or not at all.” Bulimic workaholics often can’t get started, and then scramble to complete the project by the deadline, staying up for three nights straight before collapsing in exhaustion. They are worrying obsessively about work – and kicking themselves for not doing it.

RELENTLESS WORKAHOLIC STYLE: This type is characterized by the motto “it has to be finished yesterday.” People in this group get an adrenaline kick from tight deadlines and start things too soon rather than too late. This style also is characterized by impulsivity. The participants tend to take on too much.

ATTENTION-DEFICIT WORKAHOLIC STYLE: People involved in in this style live on the brink of chaos and get high from the rush of new ideas. They live on the edge at work and play and gravitate toward high-risk jobs or activities….Unlike bulimic workaholics who can’t start a project and want to do everything perfectly, Attention-Deficit Workaholics start lots of projects, do them carelessly and get too bored to follow through.

SAVORING WORKAHOLIC STYLE: Those are slow, methodical and overly scrupulous. They can’t tell when the job is done; deep down they fear the project is never good enough.

Generally speaking, workaholics are hurting on the inside, and that is the main cause of workaholism. They are not happy and satisfied! They think looking busy will make people think that they are important, but inside they feel the opposite. All these characteristics of workaholism are actually ways for the workaholic person to cope with the pain of having lost the sense of being and of not feeling good enough about themselves. They keep busy to blot out their feelings, enjoying the adrenaline highs that come from intensity and rushing to meet work deadlines.

Workaholism is harmful and is a risky business for the human body. Overworked people lose sleep, eat poorly and survive on caffeine and cigarettes. The legacy of long days and skipped vacations has a price tag; worker attrition, loss of productivity, illness, injury and damaged relationships. Long hours can strain the body system and even the mind. The long working hours inevitably take their toll. The accumulation of stress at work and symptoms of arteriosclerosis and mental difficulties are often the result of overwork. We need to remember that hard work is healthy but overwork and workaholism can be “a gun to the head.

Recovery from workaholism is possible. It’s a lifelong process that includes a big help from the workaholics themselves, their family, friends and above all: the professionals. To start the process of recovery is first being sincere to yourself and expressing your love to yourself! Workaholics, as everyone else, need to understand and appreciate themselves first. Everything else comes after that.

They need to learn to take vacations and use weekend getaways every now and then. They need to rediscover their private passions, their family life, and improve their social circles. It is a huge challenge for them, so sometimes, forms of professional help are necessary for recovery.

“Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first. You cannot be really good at your work if your work is all you are. No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office. People do not talk about the soul very much anymore. It is so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night or when you are sad, broke, lonely, or sick”, Anna Qunidlen

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