Is ‘not working’ a bigger task for you than working?
Is it difficult for you to separate work from your life?

If yes, it’s time you need to acknowledge that you could be a workaholic and need to find the right work-life balance.

Most often than not, workaholics find themselves in a situation where they cannot prioritize anything else than work (even if they want to.) This is a real problem and people hardly pay attention to it until it is too late. This is because ‘workaholism’is usually identified by the people who are aroundthat person and not the person himself. You would often find your colleagues cribbing about your over-enthusiasm for work and bash you for being too much in your work mode, or cutting the lunch break short to finish the task beforehand!

Therefore, the first step here is to analyse yourself and your working patterns. Loving your work and being vigilant about it isn’t wrong. Also, people with such work ethics won’t be labelled as workaholics. Then what is it that makes workaholics different from others? Let’s find out!

You find yourself getting more exhausted than others

Do you always accept more work than others and find yourself more responsible towards work than others? Also, does this make you feel exhausted and burnt out on most days? It’s a sign that you might be a workaholic. It’s nothing wrong in taking up more work if it does you no harm. But if it leaves you energy-sapped at the end of the day, even more than others then you need to start changing your work habits.

What can you do:

  • Saying ‘No’ to your boss or manager must feel like a big deal when they throw extra responsibilities at you. But the best way to save yourself from burning out is to set boundaries for your work. You can always be polite and explain why it’s not right for you to take that extra work. Let people understand that you have too much on your plate.
  • Set a time for each task and ensure you take small breaks in between. Try to engage in some good conversations with your colleagues or walk around the premises a bitduring your breaks. This will calm your mind and relieve the baggage of working hard and fast.
  • Try setting a strict deadline to finish your work and head home on time. Start with this and spend time in recreational activities or with the family to relax before you get mentally ready for the next workday.

Taking a time off feels like a crime?

You are always ready to skip that family dinner, that wedding function of your relatives and anything that asks for time off from your work. You hesitate to take a day off even when you are sick. You would work overtime or shorten your leaves. You cannot take a day off without having a concrete or serious reason.

Do you ever think, why? That’s because you think that taking days off, holidays and sick days would leave you without any work and an empty mind. It’s the fear of having idle time. Sometimes when you do take leaves, by halfway through it you start feeling like it is a criminal waste of time!That’s only because you never allow your mind to realize that it is simply fine to have nothing to do and that your work is not your life.

What can you do:

  • Start with planning small vacations with family and make sure you finish all your work and don’t carry it along
  • Decide to take a day off at least once in two months and plan to spend it pursuing your hobby. This way, you won’t have too much idle time to miss your work plus you will learn to engage in other spheres of life gradually.
  • Engage more with your family members and take interest in their lives. Make sure you fill the emotional gap that you might have created with them unknowingly. Call up your friends and close ones often. This way, you will realize that there’s more to life than work.

Do youprioritize work over everything else?

Having a hectic work life gives a sense of achievement to many. They might not love their work, but having a busy schedule saves them from the anxiety of ‘not having any work.’ It is scary for them to stay idle. Even for a small time. These are the signs of a work addict. We are NOT talking about people who are purely passionate about their work. Because that’s a real strength. We are focusing on the issue where people give extra importance and priority to work over everything else—Mental health, physical capacity, risk-taking ability, family life and so on. Accept it or not, but it becomes toxic for self after a point. It’s never too late to realize this.

What can you do:

  • Firstly, observe your pattern when there’s a tough choice to make between something important at work and your n personal life, both. Make sure you choose yourself over everything else!
  • Take help at work when you need it and discuss it with your colleagues. It’s not wrong to ask for help when you overburdenedat work.
  • Stay organized, make daily TO-DO lists, and stick to your tasks ONLY as much as you can.

You can’t relate to anyone else’s work approach

It must get difficult for you to relate with people who have opposite work ethics to you. You might not like people who leave early on some days because of personal reasons, who procrastinate, who are less diligent/organized or who take their authorized holidays as often as permitted. This could happen to anyone who thinks his approach to work is only right. But we must understand that not everyone thinks about work and life the same way.

What can you do:

  • Stay away from micro-management at work
  • Try not to be the centre of all the projects/tasks. Let people take responsibility and trust them.
  • Remember—Teamwork makes a teamwork!

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