How often do we describe ourselves or others, almost lightheartedly, as workaholics? Behind the words, however, lurks a serious illness. Real workaholics are genuinely addicted to work. We have summarized the signs of this addiction, because every one of us could be in danger of becoming a work addict. Are you at risk?
1. Thinking about work during your leisure time
At home and when out with friends, the main theme is always what you have to do at work in the coming days. You cannot think of anything other than work, and you find it impossible to switch off in your free time.
2. You are convinced that you have to work constantly
Holidays don’t make you happy; instead they make you uncomfortable because you are not being productive from a work perspective. Taking days off sick is out of the question. If you can identify with this feeling, you need to be very careful.
3. Hand over some of your work to others? Only very reluctantly
You find it very difficult to delegate, because you believe that you can do it quicker and better. To pass work on to others makes you feel that you are losing control of the outcome.
4. Work-related stress affects the body
Anyone who constantly works risks physically overloading their body. This manifests itself in symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and sleep and stomach problems.
5. Caffeine, cigarettes or tablets instead of taking a break
To be able to work longer, workaholics often drink too much coffee or smoke too many cigarettes instead of taking a break.
6. You often let down your friends and family
Because you have so much to do at work, arrangements made with friends and family are often cancelled at short notice.
7. You set yourself unrealistically high standards
The feedback from others is always positive; you perform very well. Nevertheless, you feel that this is not enough. The thought that you have to be even better is constantly there.
8. Overtime is an important currency
Go home before your colleagues? The thought would never occur to you. Overtime for you is normal, and you always work just a little longer than your colleagues.
9. You work in order to get rid of your feelings of guilt or fear
For a workaholic, work is quite often a diversion from private problems. Relationship or everyday issues that cannot be overcome are balanced out through success at work.
10. You have to work more and more, in order to be satisfied
Overtime hours mount up, but your satisfaction doesn’t increase accordingly. As a result, you have to work harder and longer, to achieve satisfaction with your own performance. The beginning of a dangerous vicious circle, which you need to get out of as quickly as possible.
What can you do?
• Recognition: Recognizing that you have a problem and need to do something about it is the first step to recovery.
• Acceptance: To have a problem is not a bad thing. Don’t judge yourself; instead use your energy to identify the causes and improve your situation.
• Look for alternatives: What other activities can you take up? Would sport, or a new hobby help you?
• Accept help: Accept offers of help from friends and family, or seek out organizations that can support you, such as Workaholics Anonymous