Reflections From a Recovering Workaholic

No One Cared How Many Hours I Worked

Are you a also recovering workaholic? I was always a first in, last out kind of worker. As a natural early riser, it didn’t take a lot of effort to get to the office early. I was often surprised to be the only one there but appreciated the quiet time to get my day started.

As my colleagues filed out promptly at 5:00 p.m., I somehow always had something to finish up or wanted to prepare for the next day. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me to stay a little late. I wondered why were they were all so quick to rush off.

Lunch breaks were often very brief and spent at my desk. Sure I occasionally went out with colleagues or met up with a friend but that seemed to be the exception.

No one told me I had to work 60+ hours each week. I just did it. It felt like the responsible thing to do. There was work to do. I wanted to do a good job. I wanted to be good at what I did. I wanted to be recognized as a hard worker.

I didn’t expect the burnout. I didn’t expect the resentment. I didn’t expect that no one really cared how many hours I worked each week. Not my boss. Not my friends. Not my family. It wasn’t how they measured my success or worth.

Being a workaholic wasn’t healthy. The were few rewards but there were plenty of lessons. The most disheartening was that no one really cared how many hours I worked.

That’s when I realized that I had to re-calibrate my life. I’m not proud of the hours I spent overworking but I am happy to be a recovering workaholic. Are you ready for something different? Let’s connect.

Originally published at on February 9, 2018.