Do you get more excited about your work than you do about family or anything else?
If you answered “yes,” you might be a workaholic — and that isn’t necessarily something to be proud of.
In fact, it’s important that you recognise the addiction and get help, because the consequences can be grave.
A 2014 Gallup survey found that 25% of salaried Americans log more than 60 hours per week, on average — and about 50% of them work more than 50 hours.
Williams reports that in Japan, workaholism — known as “karoshi” — is estimated to cause 1,000 deaths per year and nearly 5% of the country’s stroke and heart attack deaths in employees under the age of 60, and in the Netherlands, he writes, workaholism has “resulted in a new condition known as ‘leisure illness,’ estimated to affect 3% of its entire population, according to one study.”
He says in his article that a contributing factor to the problem of workaholism “is the prevailing belief in hard work as the route to success, particularly wealth.” But he quotes Bryan Robinson, PhD, a leading researcher on the disorder and author of “Chained to the Desk,” who said, “Yes, workaholism is an addiction, an obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it’s not the same as working hard or putting in long hours.”
In fact, Williams says the irony is, despite logging insane hours and sacrificing their health and relationships for their jobs, “workaholics are frequently ineffective employees.”
“Workaholics tend to be less effective than other workers because it’s difficult for them to be team players, they have trouble delegating or entrusting coworkers, or they take on so much that they aren’t as organised as others,” he writes.
Michele Schalin, the community outreach coordinator at Workaholics Anonymous, a “fellowship of individuals who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problems and help others to recover from workaholism,” says workaholism can lead to divorce, suicide, stroke, heart attack, sleep deprivation, damaged relationships with friends and family, “and the list goes on,” she tells Business Insider.
To figure out if you’re a workaholic, Workaholics Anonymous suggests you ask yourself these 20 questions. Three positive answers are considered an indicator that you may have a problem with workaholism:
1. Do you get more excited about your work than about family or anything else?
2. Are there times when you can charge through your work and other times when you can’t?
3. Do you take work with you to bed? On weekends? On vacation?
4. Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most?
5. Do you work more than 40 hours a week?
6. Do you turn your hobbies into money-making ventures?
7. Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts?
8. Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time?
9. Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won’t otherwise get done?
10. Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?
11. Do you believe that it is ok to work long hours if you love what you are doing?
12. Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
13. Are you afraid that if you don’t work hard you will lose your job or be a failure?
14. Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?
15. Do you do things energetically and competitively, including play?
16. Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else?
17. Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?
18. Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep, or when others are talking?
19. Do you work or read during meals?
20. Do you believe that more money will solve the other problems in your life?
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