A Functioning Workaholic

Sound familiar? Read on, dearest.

Live to work, or work to live? WTF is a work-life balance these days anyway, when we’re constantly connected?

Humanity used to enjoy an almost complete separation of the two parts of daily life. Now, not so much. We’re probably transitioning to a state of hyper-efficiency that’s about 100 years off, but in the meantime it feels as though both “work” and “life” are being short-changed. A natural response to daily pressure for many high achievers is to hide behind the importance of work, and become a functioning workaholic.

Sorry, I can’t do that, I have important work to do. Ooo, I’d love to, but I’m working. Darling, don’t bother me, I’m working.

Not good.

If you use your work as a wall to hide behind; if your first response to a difficult situation in your personal life is to retreat into work; if you’re more comfortable in front of your work email client than most other places, you need stop and think about what you’re missing out on and why you are a functioning workaholic.

It’s so easy to fall into this trap. Especially if you’re high functioning and ambitious. You like your work (mostly). You’re good at it. You’re a completed-finisher and so it feels good to execute tasks. You work some more. The pattern continues and you develop an addiction. OK so you’re probably not hiding vodka under the sink, but there are many forms of addiction and they are ALL dangerous. Being a workaholic will negatively impact your closest relationships because you will shut people out and rely on your work as your main identity.

If this is you, I can’t tell you the things that you’ll missing out on, but I can tell you that your life lacks balance. And balance is extremely important if you want to be satisfied.

If you want to front up and address being a functioning workaholic I encourage you to think hard about a how efficient your work really is. Do you spend hours when the real output actually took minutes? If so, why? Was it because you were hiding away in “work” mode just because that’s where you feel comfortable? Did you make that spreadsheet look absolutely beautiful, when it’s only real purpose was a specific function? If so, consider what you might do with the time saved by not giving in to these temptations. Consider how calming it would be slightly less desperate to check what new miracles may (or more likely may not) have magically appeared in your inbox.

What you do with that bonus time is for you alone, but you’ll start to feel better and less defined by one thing if you balance out your life and this hard analysis of input-output is one way to do that.