How would your coworkers describe your work habits? What about your friends and family members? Being perceived as a hard worker is something we’re taught to value from a very young age.
Even as young as grade school, high performers receive recognition – whether it’s praise in the classroom, seeing our name on the honor roll, and eventually, access to scholarships and opportunities we wouldn’t have had if we had just given it a minimum effort.
As adults, we strive to continue earning a reputation as a hard worker. But at what point does working long, hard hours start to impact us negatively?
Consistently working long hours without any or little downtime can end up pushing us into “workaholic” territory, which can have an overall negative impact on our work performance.
How do you know if you’re a workaholic? Here are a few tell-tale signs
1. You find it difficult to stop working
Even after you’ve completed your tasks for the day, you find yourself compulsively checking emails after work hours or thinking about tasks or projects you could be getting ahead on.
You find it difficult to take time off – even on weekends; your mind wanders to work you could be doing. Think back to the last trip you took – were you able to completely unplug and be in the moment?
Or did you find your mind drifting over to things you could potentially be missing at work while you were off? If this reads like your biography, it might be time to establish boundaries to regain your work-life balance.
2. You work longer than your coworkers
This can be tough to determine if you haven’t returned to a physical office space.
But if you find yourself sending emails later than anyone on your team stays logged on to respond – or can’t just leave an email unread until the following morning the way other members of your team can – this could be a sign you’re addicted to work.
3. Your relationships are suffering
When you fill all your time with work, the relationships you have with others will undoubtedly suffer. Have the people closest to you remarked that they never see or hear from you?
Has your romantic relationship felt strained lately? When was the last time you spent quality time playing with your kids or pet – without being glued to your work phone?
If your workaholic tendencies stem from wanting to provide for your family, know that the divorce rate among workaholics is 55%. Children of workaholics are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.
4. You don’t feel healthy
Working compulsively not only leaves less time for family and relationships – but it also leaves less time for exercise or preparing a healthy meal.
If you haven’t been able to stick to any regular exercise routine and your meals consist of whatever you can quickly grab, microwave, and then shove into your mouth as you’re working, it’s time to reevaluate your work habits.
5. You don’t feel accomplished unless you’re working
How much of your self-worth do you tie to getting work done?
If nothing else in your life feels as important or validating as working does for you, this is a significant indicator that you’ve become addicted to work.
This isn’t only tied to the amount of work you’re putting out but also the quality of work.
If you’re continually striving for perfection at work and are never satisfied, it may be necessary to reflect on why this brings you value to recalibrate.