workaholic is a person who is addicted to work. Beyond being unable to disconnect, the addition to work can become a serious problem that jeopardises the professional and personal balance of the person affected.

According to the ILO, 8% of Spanish workers spend more than 12 hours a day working. 11.3% of Spanish workers are believed to suffer from work addition.

Technology has made much simpler for us to be connected to our job when we are outside the office: checking your email thanks to your smartphone or working at home with your laptop is not seen as something negative. Society values dedication to work and addicts are seen as intelligent, ambitious and entrepreneur people. But the reality is very different. Spending more time working does not necessarily mean being committed and much less being more productive.

Workaholic characteristics

Work addicts are unable to disconnect. But they also have routines and working habits that endanger their time management.

  1. They try to do everything and are unable to delegate some work to other people.
  2. They don’t know how to organise their tasks and how to properly manage their time so they accumulate work and get overwhelmed.
  3. They have difficulties to work in a team and to trust their partners.
  4. They don’t know how to say ‘no’ and take any task in order to show commitment to the company.
  5. They are excessively ambitious and competitive, so they think that working more hours is the right way to prove that they deserve a promotion.

The consequences are stress, overwhelming, anxiety or headaches. However, the most worrying aspect is that they only think about work so they forget about their personal life, which has bad consequences at a social and personal level.

Sounds familiar?

Working a lot doesn’t mean you are a workaholic. A work addict is the one whose main priority is the professional life over other aspects of life such as family or social relations.

Maybe you only need to think about your priorities and learn how to organise your workload in order to get the desired balance between personal and professional lives. What happens in the office, stays in the office. Disconnect and devote time to your personal life. Work will still be there when you go back to the office. Get out with your friend, practice sport or read a good book.

Remember that spending more time at work doesn’t get you to be more productive. On the contrary. A well-organised person who knows how to manage his time is able to do much work in less time. This way time is spent on what’s really important.

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Image: Dean Hochman

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