Workaholism: Maybe it doesn’t get as much of a negative rep as it deserves. The American Psychological Association defines it as an addiction, a “syndrome comprised of high drive, high work involvement and low work enjoyment.” While working hard is positive, when are you working too hard? How might your thoughts, as a workaholic, influence your productivity? Here’s a list of the five biggest mistakes workaholics make, and how to address them.
You’re waiting for the best time to take it easy You work, you work, you work, and you think, “Just a little more work, and then I can scale it back.” But this line of thinking is one of the most detrimental. The issue is that there is never a “right” time. There will always be another bright idea; another engaging project; another surge of energy, charging you through your work and into overdrive.
Recognize that if you don’t solve a work problem now, you will always be able to solve it later.. Let yourself pause between projects, and give yourself a well-deserved rest from time to time.
You experience “catastrophic” thinking You might know the feeling: that fear that if you don’t overwork yourself, you will fail. Your project will fall through, and you’ll find yourself in the worst-case scenario. This kind of thinking is characteristic of the workaholic mindset and might impair you from working most efficiently. When afflicted with these thoughts, Psychology Today recommends recognizing that this thinking is problematic. Remind yourself that nothing bad will happen if you give don’t over-exert yourself.
You believe you can overwork productively That tsunami of energy might be fooling you. While you may think you can overwork constructively, everyone needs rest, and you’re no exception. Ambition is good, but ambition in overdrive is not. Try recognizing that, by allowing yourself breaks, you might be able to produce better quality work.
You isolate yourself from others Often, workaholics believe they function most efficiently in solitude, directing every ounce of their energy towards their work. But loneliness and a lack of socialization can have a detrimental effect both towards your productivity, as well as your mental wellbeing. Let yourself grab that coffee with your friend: It might allow you to untangle that problem you’ve been facing in your project.
You say “yes” to everything Saying “no” to a new project or responsibility might be a challenge to you. You might view the project as a new opportunity, another avenue for success. But, if you’re already juggling multiple projects at a time, you might not be able to complete any of them efficiently. By focusing on one thing at a time, you allow yourself to allocate your energy towards the completion of that assignment to the best of your ability. You’ll also be saving yourself from a whole lot of stress in the process.