Workaholic, Who, Me? … Not a Chance!
By Michelene K. Bell
Definition of a workaholic: a person who works compulsively at the expense of other pursuits.1 […workaholics] gradually become emotionally crippled and addicted to power and control in a compulsive drive to gain approval and public recognition of success.2
Do you fit the definition of “workaholic”?
• Are you spending more time at the office than at home?
• Perhaps your job entails working from a home office that is off limits to the family.
• Is the time spent around your career all-consuming?
• Do those around you complain or suffer as a result?
• Is your stress level higher than normal?
• Are you on that fast track and unable to slow down long enough for personal time as well as spending time with family and friends?
• Do you have an overwhelming “To Do” list that is unrealistic? At the end of the day, do you come home dragging and just want to fall into bed or even more disturbing, you bring your work home with you?
If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, then you may be considered a “workaholic.”
When was the last time you went on a real vacation and not just a weekend get-a-way? Ask yourself, “Which are the most important values in my life? … Family? Friends? Money? Reputation? The work?” Be honest. Are you doing it for “family” or is it something else?
We are a nation of workaholics and the question is, “why?” What exactly are the payoffs to spending so much time working … is it for survival or perhaps you’re telling yourself it’s for the family? Maybe it is simply because there is a fear of being bored or being with your own thoughts. Often, we convince ourselves that our reasons are valid.
If you were to answer one question, “I find my job” …
(a) Very satisfactory
(d) Just a means of survival
Which would you choose? The fact remains, only 30% of the population liked their jobs while an alarming 70% were unhappy or hated their work environment.
Another possible reason we are a nation of workaholics is that it affords us an escape from ourselves. Because we are working long hours, there is no time for “us.” “I don’t have time to work on myself as an individual.” It would seem there is an avoidance or denial to look at any personal issues.
In addition, we are no longer exposing ourselves to those things that make us joyful and give us a sense of peace and pride. We most likely have convinced ourselves that financial security equates many hours of punching the clock to keep everyone around us happy and feeling secure. However, in many cases, the family would prefer their partner to be with the family unit.
What happened to, smelling the roses or hanging out with family and friends? When did they become a back burner item? When did the exciting adventures, fun and leisure moments become extinct?
Now I know we must work to keep a roof over our heads, gas in the tank and food on the table … not to mention paying bills. After all, “survival” is paramount in many ways.
What, however, would happen if we were to take even a few hours a week just to reconnect with that other side of us … you know, the one that had fun or a hobby? If we would put ourselves at the top of the list, slowly but surely, our lives would change.
What are some steps we can take in order to put more balance in our lives?
• We can make the commitment to leave work at the office (it will still be there in the morning).
• Schedule a weekly date night with yourself, your spouse or family … they will appreciate it.
• Refrain from turning on the computer for 24 hours … you may be surprised how hard this is. Instead, go for a walk or visit a park.
• Take quiet time for yourself.
It is a fact that when we put ourselves first, even for a little while, our lives will become less stressful. Remarkably, we may find more time to enjoy life and as a result, we may come to view our “job” as enjoyable and not have the yoke around our neck … not just getting by. Being so engrained in work tends to help us forget how to live. If waiting for the “tomorrow’s” of our dreams and goals to manifest, how much longer are we to wait? How long have you been working for that moment and when will it arrive?
Step up; reward yourself first, trust in Spirit and watch in wonder as the doorways to all dreams open before us. It isn’t too late to balance our lives and realize the fruition of our desires and goals.
It is not about working hard; it’s about working smart.
Resources: 1Dictionary.com; 2Barbara Killinger Ph.D., “The Workaholics, Psychology Today.”
Michelene K. Bell, Founder and Publisher of “In Light Times, Concepts for Conscious Living” (now retired after 27-years), is a professional freelancer. She is a writer, editor, proofreader, consultant, magazine and newsle and newsletter and magazine designer with a passion for the literary world. Michelene brings clarity and heart into her creations as she paints a vivid picture within the content of articles, blogs, newsletters etc.
She enjoys great friends, fantastic food, travel, creative endeavors and having fun exploring new adventures. Visit www.MicheleneKBell.com.