You might never have thought you would need to overcome being a workaholic, but “workaholism” is an increasingly concerning issue that affects many workers across the world. A study published by IntechOpen discussed that workaholism is prevalent by 7.3% — which is more than expected.
Such prevalence is concerning: workaholism is an irrepressible urge to work — despite the physical and mental health consequences like burnout and headaches. LHH’s post on the signs that you’re a workaholic include difficulty delegating work, struggling to “turn off” outside work hours, and neglecting your personal life. For millennials, who make up the majority of the workaholic population, this primarily occurs because they are mistakenly perceived as lazy workers. Thus, they attempt to compensate by over-performing at work.
However, workaholics can change and become efficient workers without compromising their well-being. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up 4 key ways to overcome being a workaholic.
Internalize that working longer isn’t productive
Many overwork themselves thinking that longer working hours mean they’re being more productive. However, trials conducted in Iceland saw an increase or maintenance in productivity levels following the implementation of shorter, 35- to 36-hour weekly working hours. If you worry that shorter hours can affect the quality of your output, know that focusing on one task at a time is actually what can minimize errors and save time in the long run. If a task takes too long to complete, asking for help from colleagues or supervisors can put you back on track without you having to burn yourself out by working overtime.
Allow yourself to say ‘no’ more
Workaholics tend to do everything because they say yes to every task. It is even more challenging to say ‘no’ to a boss. However, you can turn down assignments without jeopardizing your job. When you’re tasked to do additional work outside your normal load, consider saying: “Thank you for considering me for this task, but taking on this assignment would further delay the progress of [what you’re working on].” To avoid the urge to say ‘yes,’ you can also ask for more time to deliberate before accepting a new task. This way, you can personally assess how much you can handle first.
Don’t forget to “log off” from work
Workaholics also find it difficult to switch off at the end of the workday. Consider following a strict work schedule to help you stop working at the end of each day. Hold yourself accountable for finishing tasks by a certain time so you won’t have to think about any unfinished work at home. If you tend to open emails and check messages past office hours, adjust your phone and laptop settings to turn off notifications after you leave work. It may also help to keep work devices out of sight so you won’t have to think of checking them at home.
Focus on your personal life
Having hobbies and non-work-related interests can give you something to look forward to after work. They can also help discourage you from working overtime. Should your hobby be fitness-related, you can look forward to hitting the gym or Pilates class after work. If you prefer something more social, plan regular nights out with friends. However, if you don’t know where to start, you can backtrack on your New Year’s resolutions and set time to work on them.
This article “New Year’s Resolutions: How to Make Sure you Succeed in January” states that you can make your resolutions more concrete by setting mini-goals.
For example, you can establish objectives like coming up with an idea and finalizing an outline if you want to write a book.
Addressing the factors that fuel workaholism requires changing your mindset on productivity and laziness. This means you can unlearn — and ultimately overcome — workaholism at a personal level, one habit at a time.
This post was written by Contributing Author – Alessandra Russo