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Whenever a person is consumed by any one thing, and that “thing” satisfies at least three of their six human needs, it becomes an addiction. Addictions are behaviors that mask pain, stress and feelings of low self esteem, and addiction doesn’t just apply to illegal substances, it applies to everything — even work.
Workaholism; receiving satisfaction from working longer harder hours and covering negative feelings by burying oneself in work.
The consensus is that workaholism, just like any other addiction, is the direct result of some other issue that has never been confronted — it’s a coping mechanism that can quickly become an addiction to perfection.
But it doesn’t just affect you; it negatively impacts the life of your family and friends. Encompassing yourself in work leaves no room for anyone else in your life. Family time is easily forgotten, and everyone must adjust to your schedule.
It’s easy to think of workaholism as a “good” addiction because it appears that you are getting so much more done. But the truth is, you are not any more productive than any other hard worker — in fact, you’re less productive.
Over time, the consequences of your overzealous work nature will sneak up behind you and take you down. Here is how:
1. Stifles your creativity
Robots, by default, are not very creative — and neither are people who work incessantly. The problem is, working like a machine stifles imagination and stifles your creativity.
2. Correcting mistakes
When staring at the same piece of work for hours on end, it’s easy to start seeing double — and harder to catch mistakes. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back. But a workaholic won’t do that. Their mind tirelessly plows forward, errors and all. The problem is, eventually those errors need to be corrected, and that’s how time gets wasted.
3. Affects mood
Never-ending to-do lists are stressful. The endless cycle of working just to work won’t bring joy to your life, and the end result is unhappiness. When you don’t have anything else to look forward to but work, how can you be happy? Workaholics are also harder to work with and have weaker relationships with colleagues.
4. Losing money in productivity
Workaholics tend to miss more days of work than “hard workers”. But when they are in the office, their efficiently levels are often lower. In fact, it’s reported that employers lose approximately 160 billion per year in productivity from workaholic employees.
5. Bad for your health
The mind of a workaholic may want to go non-stop but the human body cannot. Workaholics are reported to have more cases of burnout, anxiety, high blood pressure and heart problems.
So, as you decide whether or not you are willing to solve your workaholic habits, think about this: why do you do it in the first place? What internal need are you fulfilling? That is the bigger picture, and only when you figure that out can you start recovering from your workaholism.
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