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Collabio Spaces

Are You a Workaholic? There Are Ways Out!

Passion for work absorbs people around the world; a phenomenon common in Japan, Great Britain and the USA, yet no so much in places such as Norway. Wherever you are, we hope to bring more balance to the lives of our readers — especially if you are feeling the ill effects of work responsibilities during your weekends.

Workaholism was defined long ago; coined in the 70s in reference to addiction to work and the uncontrollable need to work incessantly. We see the same addiction today, as well as the methods used to free us from this harmful habit.

Suspect you may be workaholic? Want to fix the issue asap? Let’s go!

8 Signs of Workaholism

Read and note how many signs you recognise in yourself:

1. Overworking. You notice that you spend in the office (or in your home office) more than 50 hours per week and find yourself at 8 PM performing tasks.

2. Regular working weekends. Regular urgent tasks that can’t wait for Monday and take your free time on weekends, don’t allow time needed for rest.

3. Thinking of work in leisure time. When you meet with friends, watch movies, read books but your thoughts always shift to some work issues.

4. Constant talking about work. Most discussions, no matter the topic, can bring up memories of situations or tasks still to be done at work.

5. Making work the sense of your life. Hobbies, relationships, simple joys of life are considered no more important than business, even if it’s not your company and you’re a hired employee.

6. Using work as a solution to all the problems. When you feel anxiety, guilt or sadness, tackling work tasks seems like your best remedy.

7. Lack of attention to basic needs. You forget to have lunch in the midst of urgent activities at work, and sleep can wait until the weekend.

8. Obsession with perfectionism. The task can’t be finished until everything is super-perfect, even if it will take you the whole day and night.

If you can relate with at least 4 signs, it’s time to proceed to the next part and discover a balanced approach to business tasks.

Addressing the imbalance doesn’t mean you will lose the competition with competitors or become less successful and productive than colleagues. On the contrary, such an approach will make you happier and keep you away from burnout and depression.

How to Get Rid of Workaholism?

Only five simple steps to reclaim your personal time. No more over-working!

1. Find the Root of Your Workaholism

This is commonly not a cause, but a consequence. What is it that makes you work day and night? Is it fear of failure, the idea of success, or the expectations of parents that have been imprinted in one’s mind since childhood?

For a thorough investigation, a psychologist can help to identify the source of the problem. However, if you don’t want to share your experiences with others, analyse the situation yourself:

  • What are you hiding from at work?
  • What scares and inspires you?
  • What would happen if you immediately change your schedule and decide to get rid of extra work?

By the way, Collabio has a decision-making template that allows you to weigh the pros and cons, and predict the possible outcomes of your decisions. Find them in the ‘Planning’ folder. We hope that all workaholics will see only positive outcomes when planning their further work and leisure time!

2. Make a Plan and Follow Your New Schedule

The most difficult thing is to start. Making a plan of concrete actions can appear daunting but it is not the planning process itself that is difficult, but the rejection of old habits. Stepping away from our comfort zone, even an unhappy one is confronting. But believe me, there will be a new comfort zone awaiting you, and you will see that balance is the best way in life!

  • First, plan all your time, waking up and going to bed, lunch and dinner, and set no more than 8 hours for work on weekdays — no exceptions!
  • For days off, plan socialising, visiting sights and cafes, as well as enjoying hobbies, reading, watching movies, etc. Find new hobbies if you have no idea what to do.
  • Control yourself if you feel like scheduling email checks for the weekend! :)

By the way, we have also a template for such a detailed to-do list, where you can plan precise hours for different activities.

3. Set Boundaries and Rest Intentionally

So that there is no temptation to get to work in the evening, when all colleagues are already resting. Log out of your email and work chats, close a working laptop or app windows and all folders linked to work.

If you work in a browser that you use for fun, group tabs you need for work and minimise this group until the next day.

Nothing should remind you of unfinished tasks. If you are eager to get back to work all the time, add a ‘No work today’ sticker to the monitor’s screen.

4. Don’t Stay Alone and Focus on Personal Life

Communication helps switch attention to things outside of work. Meet with friends and relatives and ask them to stop you if you begin to talk about the office. Let others help you shift topic and open you up to other things in life.

Making new friends is a great way to reconnect with yourself — the part of you outside of your role at work. Rather than business monologues, most new acquaintances will share fascinating stories from their lives — keeping your thoughts away from routine.

Visit interesting places together. We are sure that in your city or town, there are some museums, theatres, and different cultural places where you can learn something new and take a break from everyday worries. Don’t forget to plan these activities to your to-do list! ;)

5. Fill Your Vacation with Impressions

Many workaholics forget to take even a couple of vacation days per year. Not so long ago, we discussed 9 signs you need a vacation asap, however, if you can’t remember when you set an out-of-office autoreply, it’s a nice idea to book a vacation today!

This will help you disengage from work and fill the brain with new information. People who live at work will find it difficult to relax on the beach or in a hotel bar. So, we strongly advise you to choose places for recreation, where you can learn the secrets of the history of the ancient world or take active rest. The main thing is to find an exciting activity outside of work and step into another flow.

If you are a workaholic who is still waiting for a sign to change routine and enjoy the happiness of a new balanced life — here it is! Start by making the right decision, plan effectively and continue! Soon this will become a way of life. Productivity will remain high, yet sleepless nights will fade into a distant memory.



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