Conscientious or compulsive? There's a fine line between the two when it comes to work.
If you tend toward workaholism and you're not happy about that (FYI, the term "happy workaholic" was coined a few years ago) you're not alone.
Several years ago psychotherapist and author Bryan Robinson wrote in his book Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them, "Overwork is this decade's cocaine, the problem without a name."
Workaholism, according to Robinson, is "an obsessive-compulsive disorder that manifests itself through self-imposed demands, an inability to regulate work habits, and an over-indulgence in work, to the exclusion of most other life activities."
A workaholic has an unhealthy addiction to “work, career, or a belief that they are the only one who can do the job right.”
Robinson describes three types of workaholics:
1.) The “all or nothing workaholic” who does things perfectly or not at all.
2.) The “relentless workaholic” who has trouble stopping.
3.) The “savoring workaholic” who obsesses over details to the point of paralysis.
Here's a quiz you can take to help you discern whether you are a workaholic.
We working moms who tend toward workaholism worry (correctly) about the effect it has on our kids. And clearly our culture rewards and honors those who work endless hours, making the shift out of unhealthy workaholism that much more difficult.
So what's a workaholic to do?
1.) Define the benefits of letting go of workaholism. How will that affect your happiness, health, and quality of your relationships?
2.) Schedule events with your family.
3.) Schedule a vacation. And take it!
5.) Don't add new activities without eliminating something from your schedule.
6.) Reduce the number of times you check email each day.
7.) Use your creativity toward accomplishments other than work, perhaps hobbies.
8.) Confront a possible fear of failure or insecurities -- talk to a pastor or counselor.
9.) Consider joining Workaholics Anonymous.
The most important step is the first one -- understanding why you want to change in the first place. When you have compelling reasons to moving out of your workaholic ways, it will make your journey that much easier.