Hi, my name is Helga, and I’m a workaholic. Now it’s your turn to share some personal info about you. We’ve got a workaholics meeting today. So, even if you are not ready to utter it, join us.
I would like to ask you some simple questions to find out if you are one of us. And I will give you some useful tips on how to break free from your work slavery and start enjoying your vacations, evenings, your personal life again.
If you're in doubt whether or not you're a workaholic, pass a small test given in this article. Also, I will share with you some useful tips on how to break free from your work slavery and start enjoying your vacations, free time, and your personal life again.
Please don’t worry I will not promote downshifting here. I bet that many of you restore your inner energy while visiting ancient cloisters, climbing mountains, camping, or just escaping into the wilderness to meditate, calm down, and say "F*ck it!"
So, if you are ready for extreme, such kind of rest will positively affect your efficiency when you get back to work.
As for me, comfort plays a major role in my life and coming back to a "primitive society" will cause stress sooner than refreshment.
But let’s get closer to the topic of the article. I will describe the lifestyle and personality of an ordinary workaholic.
Am I talking about you? Welcome to the club! You are a workaholic.
Working hard for your own or somebody’s good seems so right. But are you happy thinking about your job all the time? I don’t think so.
Being a workaholic means to carry your job to extremes, which is abnormal, and may cause serious negative consequences.
We associate our career progress with diligent and persistent work. We are sure that a working unit after sweating its guts out deserves to get adequate compensation for these efforts.
I would ask you stop for a moment and think about the following thing.
Did you notice that the harder we work, the better our relationship with our bosses become? But what about our relationships with family and friends? They inevitably go bad.
Alas and alack!
It’s difficult to find "Yin Yang-shaped" balance between work and personal life. I think that’s a problem. Agree?
By the way, are you planning to go on a vacation this year?
Well, I am not 🙁
The recent American research says that more than 135 million people (56% of the surveyed) didn’t go on vacation for a year+. Almost 10 million of them confessed that they didn’t go on vacation for 2+ years.
Those hard-working employees check their emails while being on a vacation. They never stop thinking about butt-hurting tasks.
The catch is that now we have 24/7 access to the tools we use at work. That is the reason why it is so difficult to understand whether you are just a diligent employee or a person suffering from a terminal illness.
You're always putting your job to the foreground. You think about it almost all the time, and don’t feel uncomfortable about that.
You feel guilty when you are busy with other activities not related to your work. You believe that you are wasting time and should buck it somehow without fail.
This feeling always accompanies you wherever you are. It makes you answer one more phone call, SMS or email after hours.
You are terrified with one thought that you could let down your colleagues, your manager, or your customers being offline/out of range for some time.
You are an early bird. You come to the office first and go home last.
You never go for coffee breaks or a snack somewhere preferring to have a bite right at the table. Chewing your sandwich you can simultaneously view your emails.
Maximum exercise you can do is walking along the office corridor to stretch your legs a little bit.
The word “vacation” sounds like a curse for you. If you are out of the office, you aways worry about the working process. The best option is home relaxation.
Such days off always end up deplorably. One moment you find yourself working from home. An awful thing about the situation is that you have nothing against it. You send test messages and SMS regularly keeping in touch with your everyday office environments.
Work is utterly important for you. You don’t pay attention to personal concerns even when your unceasing overtime work starts affecting your health negatively.
Of course, you could do something for your health and pleasure. For instance, it might be a tennis set or swimming in the pool. But you dread to lose your job paying too much time to sport. Only one thing can make you play tennis. It’s a friendly sparring with your manager or potential client.
You consider that if you delegate your responsibilities to somebody else, something ghastly will happen. The skies will fall down, the business will fail, and the company will go to smash.
Very often even after an extremely intense day you don’t feel satisfied with the work done. You simply need to labor until dusk to make sure that you are really worthwhile.
You know, it’s not so bad to entrust some tasks to the tried-and-true people. There are no irreplaceable men. You are hardly doing something your colleagues can’t repeat.
Did you answer “yes” to all/some of the above questions? Congrats! You are a workaholic. But you are not alone.
Sure it’s not easy to change the style of your work and your likings. But if you want to live a little different life, it’s worth to start the transformation taking small steps highlighted below. As time will pass, they will turn into habits and you will be able not only build a successful career but strong relationships, connections, and enjoy your life much more than today.
Include 10 minutes to meditate into your day plan. It will help your mind and body to have a rest.
There are plenty of research that prove the benefit of meditation. It relieves the stress and boosts the ability to concentrate on the current tasks.
Don’t like meditations? Ok, then, just go for a walk in the open air or twiddle.
All work and no play makes jack a dull boy
There should be a place for jokes, fun, whatever in your life. Take some time to have fun. For example, you can listen to a couple of your favorite songs, view droll videos on YouTube or talk to a friend who is able to make you laugh. These activities will distract you for a short period of time, nevertheless, they are extremely useful for keeping your mind sharp.
Multiple kinds of research have proven that intensive work without breaks and days off negatively affect the efficiency and harm your health. Sedentary life, eating cold food also won’t make your life longer.
Yearly medicals is a great way to stay healthy for those who overwork. The doctor will tell you about the problems you have, occupational diseases (if any) and how to get rid of them.
Don’t use your gadgets from time to time at least for short periods of time like one evening. Take away all external stimulus that may divert you away from thinking about really essential things and identifying priorities.
Planning your vacation will help you divert from everyday routine.
If the idea to leave your work for a week or longer seems absolutely insane to you at the moment, start with a series of the short trips. Travel on weekends or go places that provide Wi-Fi so that you were able to stay connected in case something urgent will happen.
Such trips are useful because they give you the opportunity to take a rest from your everyday breakneck pace and dozens of responsibilities and take a look at the rut from another perspective.
Your vacation starts not when you sit in a car/plane/train/bus. It starts at home when you lie on your sofa with a smartphone
and beer in hand.
It’s strange, but very often we feel much happier when we plan our vacation. That is during the anticipation phase than in the vacation itself. Yes, we get more satisfaction from looking forward towards something, than enjoying the actual thing. Is that ok with you?
It looks like a vacation can be tiresome, both mentally and physically.
So, is there a way to restore its reputation? Of course, get prepared in advance. Vacation planning goes not only by what you’re going to do and see but much deeper than that.
Making hotel reservations (WordPress Hotel Themes for the interested owners), finding good restaurants to visit, and making sure not to miss the must-see sights are not the most enjoyable things to do. Let’s leave them behind the scenes.
Have you heard about Elizabeth Dune? She is a leading happiness researcher. Are you surprised with the profession? So, according to her, building the anticipation is an active process.
“…it’s Better to immerse yourself into the process…” that’s what she told the New York Times.
The recommended methods of immersion are reading novels, watching movies, learning the language.
Studying a new culture is fascinating, but where to find time in your tight schedule to learn a new language? To watch movies in a foreign language, and read novels by local authors? As you see, I’m rather skeptical about that, but if the happiness coach recommends the immersion, I couldn’t help sharing the info with you.
I’ve come across the study, which says that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie raised their endorphin levels by 27%. It’s unbelievable! We can increase our happiness level just thinking about our planned vacation!
There’s an easy habitual way to stimulate our minds thinking about an upcoming vacation. Immerse yourself into the vacation planning to add influencers to your feed.
How many times a day do you check your feeds? Never counted these trifles?
Just imagine: having the right influencers in your Instagram feed, every time you scroll it through, a glimpse of your possible experience will appear in the form of a spectacular photo: of a landscape, of a dish, of a beach, of an open air concert.
That’s how you can immerse yourself into your next vacation effortlessly and efficiently. Sounds better, doesn’t it?
Apropos, tour agencies got hooked on influencers. That’s not surprising as only local influencers know the best places where to dine, where to walk, where to rave.
Influencers know what’s trendy because they are the ones who set those trends. That’s why tour agencies love them so much.
According to statistical data, 73% of travelers get the destination, hotel and travel ideas from social media. If people use social media for such purposes and are satisfied with their vacations why not to follow their examples?
It’s awesome if your persistence, grit, and industry have led you to immense professional success. But don’t you think that it’s time to slow down a little bit and improve something in your life? Maybe now, when your career is built or almost built is the high time to do something pleasant for yourself?
You will probably need a fair amount of courage, and time. You will need to separate your working and personal life. And I sincerely hope that after reading this article and following its hacks you will get an email from your colleague at night and won’t reply it immediately. You’ll see, the sun will rise the next morning as usually, so nothing catastrophic will happen.
Take care and don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends - workaholics.
Remember, I am waiting for your stories at the comment section. Here are a few questions for inspiration. Are you a workaholic? Do you think your career negatively affects your personal life? Are you going to change anything to become happier? Maybe you have you own success story of how you stopped to be a workaholic and started to enjoy the life? Please share it with me and the community. It will sound like a proof that it’s difficult, yet possible to become a happier person without any detriment to the career.