Overcoming Work Addiction
Why are you so busy? Do you really have too much work? Is work so important to you that you’ll sacrifice just about anything in your life to get the job done? Even if it’s at the expense of your health and your relationships?
If you find these questions disturbing then see how you rate with these ones:
Do you work more than 50 hours a week?
Do you dream about work?
Do you feel that in order to succeed you must work late most of the time?
Are you a stranger in your own home?
Do you constantly miss family and social events because you’re always working?
Do you schedule and undertake more than you can get done in a 40-hour work week?
Do you get bored when you’re not working?
Is missing family and social events because of work unavoidable?
When on holiday do you constantly check your phone messages and email?
The greater the number of yes answers, the closer you are to fitting the profile of a workaholic. If you’ve answered yes to more than half of the questions, it’s time to take stock before you lose your health, family and everything you hold near and dear to your heart.
Do a Stocktake
First, of all take a really good look at your job, what you do and the importance of your accomplishments. Are you appreciated for all those long hours you’ve put in? Does it really – I mean really – make a difference to your income? Let’s face it. In today’s economic environment, employees are often nothing more than expendable pawns. No amount of overtime and sacrifice will make a difference when a company has to make cutbacks.
Are You Having Fun?
Secondly, determine if you’re having fun at your job, long hours notwithstanding. If you’re not having fun and are popping antacids to avoid a stress-related ulcer, then you need to rethink all that hard work you’re putting in. Fun must be a high priority in your life and your job should be no exception.
In one of our coaching sessions, Gary told me he wanted to expand his social circle yet didn’t have time because he worked from 7.30 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. most days. He said he’d been doing this for years and that it was ‘the norm’ in his profession.
As I continued to question him about why it was standard procedure to work these ridiculous hours, he realised that those colleagues who succumbed to this belief were all very unhappy individuals. Most of them were divorced just like he was and had no-one to go home to. They used work as a way to avoid the loneliness.
Gary was divorced because he didn’t pay attention to his relationships. He would arrive home at 7.30 p.m. most nights and his wife wouldn’t bother communicating with him. She was busy looking after their two young boys and meeting their needs. At that time of night his wife was putting the kids to bed.
Gary would read them a story if they hadn’t already fallen asleep.
He was missing out on everything that was important to him.
Unfortunately Gary didn’t wake up to himself in time and got caught up with being ‘Mr. Important’ at work. He paid a heavy price with the divorce which followed.
Bringing Up Kids
In his book “Raising Boys”, Stephen Biddulph categorically states: If you routinely work a fifty five or sixty hour week, including travel times, you just won’t cut it as a dad.
He says: Your sons will have problems in life and it will be down to you.
The Final Word
If you seriously want to make changes to your life, then take action now. If it’s too hard to do by yourself, get a coach. If you’ve been a workaholic it can take awhile to break your old habits and to instill new behaviours. After all you’ve got everything to gain by working less and everything to lose by continuing the way you are.