The Washington Post highlights how work in America has encroached into employees’ everyday lives — even when a worker is on vacation leave. While not everyone is fixated on work, some employers have gone out of their way to stay in touch with their workers, like issuing satellite phones and contacting employees’ relatives on social media. This workaholic culture especially persists in the digital age, where people are more connected than ever.
LHH’s post on ‘5 Signs You’re a Workaholic’ defines it as someone who has trouble delegating work, often micromanaging despite having capable team members. They also can’t seem to let go of work, even outside office hours. As a result, most workaholics have their life out of balance, neglecting relationships with family and friends and their health. Rather than let work take control of you, it’s essential to move past your job and make room for people, hobbies, and physical activities that you enjoy. Listed below are some ways you can overcome being a workaholic.
Be intentional with breaks
One of the first things you should do to handle your workaholism is to make changes to your work approach. Many establish working hours and stick to them, but these sudden limitations can become stressful if you’re used to checking into work often. Instead, you can start by being intentional about your breaks. Plan your breaks between your work time, such as having a 1-hour lunch or a 15-minute coffee break midday, and make sure they’re work-free. Not only does this help you get started on overcoming your workaholism, but it can also help you rest and improve your productivity for the remainder of the day.
Practice saying ‘no’
People sometimes overwork with the best intentions, but it comes with sacrificing their boundaries. According to psychotherapists Sara Capizzi and Stefano Macchi, this inability to say ‘no’ stems from our people-pleasing instinct, which is especially prominent at the workplace, where 25% of a full-time employee’s week is spent. By accepting work, many feel socially included and rewarded physically through a dopamine release by the brain. However, the experts point out that extra work can also be dangerous— leading to potential isolation and burnout in the long run.
One good way to practice saying ‘no’ is to slow down and first assess yourself and your capabilities. You can ask yourself what’s the worst consequence you can face by refusing or if you’d benefit from agreeing to the request. By being sincere with yourself, you can prevent overworking.
Take a vacation or time off
As mentioned earlier, you need to allow yourself to enjoy work-free breaks in small steps. Hard work is not equivalent to overworking. Rather than hinder your creativity and work capacity due to constant exhaustion and burnout, it’s crucial that you take time off. Vacations can maintain your sanity in the hustle and bustle of work. At the same time, it allows you to concentrate on other important facets of your life, such as spending time with your loved ones and engaging in hobbies. By taking breaks away from work, you can prevent other health issues associated with stress, helping you become a more effective worker.
Don’t be afraid to seek help
Making mindful efforts can help overcome workaholism, but sometimes it can be difficult to accept and change your work behavior entirely. Without proper management, you can potentially face raised levels of stress, anxiety, and depression— leading to a decline in your physical health. If you are struggling with changing your work ethic, we recommend seeking professional help. Our post ‘Men’s Mental Health’ highlights how therapy can go a long way in addressing mental health issues. They encourage you to talk freely about your feelings, help you recognize underlying problems, and provide expert advice and information. Through their guidance, you can find better coping strategies and ways to beat workaholism and the problems surrounding it.