Is It Wrong To Be a Workaholic?

Last Updated on October 14, 2022

The term “workaholic” carries a negative connotation, and rightly so in many circumstances. Working too much is linked to increased stress levels, a drop in workplace productivity, strained relationships, and an unhealthy work-life balance. However, many of us produce our greatest work when we are under a lot of pressure.

Some of our most cherished career highlights would not have occurred if we all drew the line at 5 p.m. and closed up shop the minute the day was done. If we weren’t pushing ourselves so hard, we probably wouldn’t get half as much done. Maybe you’re a workaholic, or maybe you’re just an extremely hard worker.

It’s natural to believe that this work ethic is typical, that the number of hours you put into anything determines your success and is the “real” measure of your commitment to succeeding. After all, that’s what successful people did: they worked all the time. Long hours and a lack of work-life balance were the prices of advancement and a decent paycheck.

Who is a Workaholic?

Wayne Oates, a preacher and psychologist, created the term workaholism in 1971, describing it as “the drive or the uncontrollable need to work endlessly.” Workaholism study has been hampered by conflicts about how to define and assess the construct since then.

Workaholism, for example, is defined as work addiction, a disease, a behaviour pattern that endures across numerous organizational settings, and a syndrome characterized by strong motivation, high job participation, and low work enjoyment. 

The long and short is that a workaholic is someone who works incessantly, even if it means sacrificing personal connections and fundamental health needs. While “workaholism” is not a medical term, it is closely linked to stress, burnout, impulse control challenges, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Being a workaholic implies prioritizing work over other activities and giving it a top priority all of the time; it might imply the difference between being engaged and being addicted to the workplace. As a result, you may find yourself less prepared for the next day, both physically and emotionally.

There are workplaces that reward the hardest workers rather than the most productive, but if you focus on having a more realistic attitude toward work, you can really do more and advance your career.

Below are a few reasons workaholism is affecting you and your career adversely.

It deteriorates the quality of your work

While spending more time at your desk may make you feel like you’re accomplishing more, it’s possible that you’re actually accomplishing less. You’ll waste an excessive amount of time at your desk with very low productivity if you don’t allow your brain to shift focus and enjoy leisure, exercise, and time away from your emails. Long hours can also induce mental exhaustion, impairing your ability to solve problems and pay attention to details.

When you take a break from an issue, your capacity to solve it when you return is substantially improved. Taking a break allows you to return refreshed and more capable of completing your activities more efficiently and successfully.

It harms your creativity

You miss out on opportunities to read, keep up with current events, and meet new people if you spend the majority of your time at work. As a result, you’ll not only miss out on new business and networking chances, but you’ll also be limiting your ability to think creatively.

You might discover that by spending time away from the office and indulging in a range of pastimes, the solution to that business problem you’ve been pondering comes more readily to you.

It can damage your ability to delegate

One of the drawbacks of working long hours all of the time is that it can impair your ability to delegate. When assigned responsibilities, you may be able to delegate some of them to others so that you may focus on the most essential ones, but the attitude of “if a job is worth doing, do it yourself” can drive you to become progressively insular.

The ability to delegate is essential for many elements of job success and is especially significant in management roles; it is critical that you cultivate this skill. Don’t let workaholism stand in the way of your goals!

You lose the ability to say NO

Another common mistake made by workaholics is accepting any task that is offered to them. While it’s necessary to be adaptable, saying yes to every request can result in an unreasonably big backlog of activities.

The trouble with being known as someone who will always accept things is that people will just throw work at you without thinking about your requirements because they know you’ll accept anything.

Unfortunately, the tasks are unlikely to match your desired experience or expertise. Taking on everything places your ambitions at the bottom of the priority list, but many workaholics fall into this trap.

You will burn-out

What goes up must come down, which is one of the inevitabilities of workaholics. The same areas of the brain that govern stress, according to Dr Esther Sternberg, also play a role in susceptibility to certain disorders.

As a result, the stress you put yourself through at work, in addition to the regular issues of lack of sleep and generally unhealthy behaviours, can really make you sick. Jack becomes a bored boy if he spends all of his time working. It also has an adverse effect on Jack’s mental and physical well-being.

When you’re sick, you’re never going to work at your best, and it could contribute to absenteeism at work.

Final Thoughts

Although the term “workaholic” is sometimes used in a lighthearted manner to characterize highly motivated employees, true workaholism is a severe problem. Workaholics don’t get more work done than other employees; instead, they suffer more as a result of their dysfunctional work relationship. They work hard rather than smart.

If you notice yourself participating in workaholic tendencies, try establishing clear guidelines for how much you work and filling non-work hours with stimulating activities that allow you to divert your attention away from your work obligations.

Workaholics are also more extrinsically motivated (by things like salary and status) than intrinsically motivated, according to studies. If you take a step back and ask yourself why you work, you might be able to shake off some of your workaholic tendencies.

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