Sometimes, in our pursuit to be at our productive best, we tend to blur the boundaries between healthy and unhealthy work ethics.
This is what workaholism does to you. It is the uncontrollable urge to work all day long, without taking breaks or even getting up from your desk. Contrary to popular belief, this is not something you should wear as a badge of honor.
Instead, you should work towards setting your boundaries correctly, keeping in mind your physical and mental well-being.
If you’re looking for ways to get started in this direction, then we have the perfect solution for you. Let’s dive in.
What Is Workaholism?
In simple terms, workaholism is an unhealthy addiction to working around the clock. If you are someone who hasn’t taken a vacation in years, loves burning the midnight oil, and actually looks forward to working on break days too, then chances are that you’re knee deep into workaholism.
A better way to understand this concept is to talk about the things that do not fall under workaholism:
If you are a consistent worker who likes to put your best foot forward and come up with the most brilliant ideas, then you’re not a workaholic, only an efficient worker. You are someone who enjoys working, and you work hard and are focused on your goals for the day, the month, or the year. You are confident in your work but at the same time are willing to push your boundaries to learn new tricks of the trade, which is a healthy way to progress.
Immaculate Work Ethics
Work ethics are the beliefs that represent your actions at your workplace. Having a positive work ethic doesn’t make you a workaholic.
You are someone who likes to come to work on time. You like your work error-free, and you put in ideas and stay proactive at pitching in to improve a particular project.
Sometimes, it so happens that the team is working on an important project with a delicate deadline, and you’re asked to stay and work overtime. This doesn’t necessarily qualify you as a workaholic if it happens once in a while and not on a regular basis.
Working long hours on time-sensitive projects shows that you’re a genuine employee who believes in putting your priorities straight.
Loving Your Work
We all work extra if we love our jobs and are passionate about them, which is completely fine. Your approach towards your work changes automatically if you like it and your team. You’re fuelled to perform better and are actually happy working on additional projects where you can contribute more.
When you understand that all these points actually make you a better worker and not a workaholic, it might become easier for you to distinguish when these boundaries get blurred and you step into the other side. Now, let’s help you get back into a healthy work cycle with three simple steps.
Overcome Workaholism in Three Easy Steps
For years, we have considered workaholism an important leadership quality, but it has a lasting effect on your mental and physical health. For example, workaholism can lead to:
- significantly higher work-related stress and job burnout rates
That’s why it is time you put a stop to it. Here are three ways you can bounce away from workaholism and the pressures it poses.
Your first step should be to accept that you have a problem.
We often tend to blame our excessive work on backlogs or that there is no one else who can work on a particular project. In reality, all we’re doing is brushing the problem under the rug.
A simple way to understand whether you have a problem is to disconnect from your work and see if you have an urge to go back. If you do, then there are chances you’ve gone too far down the workaholic road.
Identify the Place Where It Went Wrong
Now that you’re already on that road, go back all the way to reveal the point where it all went downhill. Maybe it was a project you were working on or the time you got that promotion.
Our bodies aren’t meant for round-the-clock work, so there has to be a particular time when you thought it was okay to work long hours, and then that turned into a habit.
Once you’ve identified the root cause, it’s time to put a plan into action.
Set Your Plans and Follow Them Religiously
There are a few things you can do to take essential steps in this direction.
- Set login and logout times, and stick to them.
- Add breaks as an important part of this schedule.
- Prioritize your work using calendars or task management software.
- Use KPI software to track your productive hours, and take that into consideration while preparing your work schedule.
- Be flexible and ready to change your goals per your priorities.
Get your plan in order and plug it into your daily routine. Identify your goals and maintain tough work boundaries.
For instance, make it a habit to check your email first thing in the morning. Use email clients for Mac or Windows to become twice as quick and efficient at reading and following up on emails. You’ll be surprised to know how much time you can save with this simple step.
Workaholism has unfortunately become a common problem, especially if you work remotely. People look up to those who are drowning in work and often misjudge them as being productive. Don’t fall into that pit; remember to take breaks in between.
A very important point to remember is to ask for help if you feel you can’t unplug. It is important to focus on yourself as an individual before anything else. Do that, and you’ll notice how much better you become at your work.