Workaholic is as sick as alcoholic.
Usually men suffer from this disease. They have always been considered as bread-winners, and this outlook serves as excuse for workaholics. “White-collar” employee can easier become sick of “workaholism” because physical labor cannot last long. The majority of computer programmers are good example of workaholics.
Do you often greet a guard when leaving your office after the working day? Do you have insomnia, concerns about your future? Do you feel uncomfortable in a big group of cheerful people? Do you fell uncomfortable when something changes in your work? Do you separate yourself from your relatives by newspaper or TV set? Did you start drinking more often? If you answered “yes” to the majority of the questions and said “no” to the first question, you should raise the alarm – not to replace your life with your career.
“Workaholism” can be cured if a person understands that he is a workaholic and uses work as a shield from the serious problems of his life. In this way, he does not solve the problems, but just aggravates the situation.
People suffering from this disease, have special sort of mentality. Most physicians think these are people who always fell anxious. They are unable to delegate their work to others and have the illusion that they can control everything, even time.
As in case of other diseases, the family members are the first to raise concerns about workaholic.
One of the problems of “workaholism” is that it is hard to draw the line between a hard-working person and a person addicted to work.
A hard-working person is the one who loves work, while workaholic is a person dependent on work, slave of work, he would like to give himself a rest, but he cannot.
Workaholic is not a person who likes to work since he/she was a child. This is a person having some psychological problems. A lazy person can become workaholic to hide himself at work from problems in the family. Fear of failure, loneliness, or disability to communicate with other people can create psychological discomfort for this person.
“Workaholism” can result from disappointment in the loved one, lost relations with children, divorce. Work becomes a shield from negative emotions.
The boss dealing with workaholic can relax and control this person less than others. The boss can compare workaholic with a horse knowing its> way. However, a horse knows only the way it always uses. Workaholic uses the principle “I work as much as my physical condition allows” instead of “I work as much as business requires”. Workaholic usually leaves the office later than other employees, and serves as a reproach to them. In this way he extends working day for others as well. Workaholic creates non-written rule at the workplace: “A good employee does not leave early”. In all other respects, workaholic is a good employee for any company.
Psychologists give several recommendations how to stop being workaholic.
1. Enjoy the moments of life. Workaholic should learn how to enjoy laziness. Start with watching what is going on around you: how a child is making his/her first steps, how sun is setting over the horizon, pet a dog, spend twice more time than usual for a delicious dinner. Keep in mind that watching TV will not do. The most important thing is to forget that “one should always have quality time”.
2. Forget your favorite phrase, “I am doing this for your (children, parents) well-being. Remember: if you work overtime, you do this for the sake of yourself. If your staying away from home, outbursts of irritation make your relatives” life worse, what kind of sacrifice are you making? Think what goals are you pursuing – money, respect, somebody”s envy, power?
3. Calm down. There is a good German saying: “There is no reason to use the road leading nowhere”. You are always in a hurry, while your nervousness has nothing to do with your work results. Try to clam down, and you will see that this will not devastate your work.
4. Give yourself a rest. Start changes with reducing working time of your first week by 4 hours. You will experience boredom, feeling of emptiness and non-satisfaction, even headache. By no means reduce the time for your rest, learn how to use this “extra” time instead. The next step for “recovery” is making one day a week absolutely free of work. First this the idea terrifies, but in time you will afford to have two days off a week. You should have desire for this and be persistent. Remember the words of English writer Clarence Day, “An ant is a wise animal. But all his wisdom is not enough for producing the idea of having a rest”.
5. Find new priorities for yourself. When you can say to yourself that your passion to work is only the means to fill void, half of your way to normal life will be over. The only thing for you to do is to find the thing as important for you as career previously was. It”s up to you to decide on your priorities, whether it will be family, sport, religion, art or some other thing.