Workaholism is a real thing and this week we are talking about being addicted to work…or being a workaholic. In other words, you work compulsively and feel as though there is no choice to work. You could be a workaholic or what I like to call a “work abuser”.
A key distinction for workaholics or being addicted to work is that much of work is run by fear and anxiety and worrying about the future. Essentially, work has become a referendum for a person’s sense of who they are AS A PERSON. If I’m not working, I am nobody and I’m going to fail
You can take a survey on CNN.com to find out if you have these leanings. Here are also a few questions that can be helpful.
- Have friends and family given up waiting on you to show up for events?
- Are you more drawn to your work activities than to rest or close relationships?
- Do you resist rest and use stimulants to stay awake longer?
- Do you regularly underestimate how long something will take and then rush to complete it? (I think this is my favorite question of all time!
Here is a definition I really like from Dr. Barbara Killinger: a workaholic as a work-obsessed individual who gradually becomes emotionally crippled and addicted to power and control in a compulsive drive to gain approval and public recognition of success. There is a lack of “emotional presence” for the workaholic versus the “hard-worker” who is there for family and friends. Hard workers also have clear boundaries and can put a “fence” around their weekends and have non-work time. The workaholic is hooked on an adrenaline high.
Here’s a real issue surrounding this: workaholics are easily rewarded at their work for seeming to “get a lot done” and eventually workaholics create a complete integrity breakdown-think corporate scandals due to the desire for power and control.
What have you learned about work addiction? Do you find you may be a workaholic or leaning towards it?
The Leadership Weekly
Weekly wisdom from the DS Leadership Life Team