Workaholic: Characteristics of a Workaholic
Like other “aholics,” the workaholic has an unhealthy addiction. In this case, the addiction is for work, career, or a belief that they are “the only one who can do the job right.” Without this consuming focus, the workaholic may believe he’s a failure or has little worth. Often, this is a sign of insecurity or having priorities out of order.
Workaholics will spend most of their lives at work or taking work home with them. They will often have little time for personal lives -- family, hobbies, or relaxation. Having a balance is not just a preferable desire; it is needed for overall mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health.
Workaholic: How to find Balance
Step back and look at your life. Are you sacrificing other areas of your life because of the time and attention you spend on work? If pursuing a short term financial goal is more important that assuring a long-term relationship with your spouse and children, you need to rethink your priorities. Sure, you might tell yourself that you are working to provide for your family and that is a necessary part of life. But be honest, is there a balance in the time you spend on each? Balance is truly the key.
- Set limits on the hours and attention you devote to your job.
- Set aside quality time for your personal relationships and pleasures.
- Confront possible fear of failure or insecurities -- talk to a pastor or counselor.
- Define your worth through God, do not replace Him with idolizing self or career.
- Use your creativity toward accomplishments other than work, perhaps hobbies.
- Be sensitive to the needs of your family and friends.
- Take up healthy physical workouts -- swim, hike, or go to the gym.
When we are physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally well balanced, everything we do is going to be affected. We perform better at our jobs; we enjoy less-stressed relationships with our loved ones, and finally we can enjoy the purpose and beauty of life that God has provided for us. You know, a “stop and smell the roses” appreciation.
When we achieve that lifestyle balance, we will more easily attain that inner peace we all strive for. We don’t have to fear insecurities. We can turn to God and pray for wisdom and guidance. Our spiritual relationship with Him can not be ignored.
This is how Robert turned it around: “No matter how hard I work, I will never be indispensable to any corporation, committee, or employer. I will never be as valuable as I’d like to think I am. I was nearly killing myself from stress and exhaustion. Was it worth it? I thought so for awhile. But I was making work my idol and discovered how wrong I was.
“I didn’t know my kids, my marriage was falling apart, and my health was deteriorating. Then one day God reminded me that health and relationships with my family and Him are what life is all about. If I didn’t start taking care of myself, I wouldn’t be there for them or my employer. If I didn’t find a balance, I wouldn’t have a family!
“I can’t go back and recapture what I’ve lost with my family, but I certainly don’t want to miss out on anymore. God helped me see their value and how much they value me. He is the one who fulfills my need to hear “You’re irreplaceable!” I now know I can wrongly decide my priorities; I now submit that decision to God. He planned the purpose of my life and I have repented for ignoring my family and my God.”