Work Characteristics of Addicts
“Of all the addictions receiving attention today (including alcohol, drugs, gambling and food) work addiction is perhaps the least recognised and possibly the most dangerous.
This is because a work addiction is a compulsion that is rewarded and reinforced by society. In particular, it’s rewarded by corporations that encourage overwork as the norm. The lure of work is increasing as innovative, flexible companies use and reward fewer people to get more accomplished.
Yet work addiction should not be confused with hard work; So how can you tell if you’re just working hard or have crossed the line into work addiction?
When work begins to hurt, you’re addicted, say specialists. But how can you spot the work addict among your colleagues? According to Workaholics Anonymous, these characteristics are common to compulsive over-workers:
They have difficulty in relationships
They forget birthdays and anniversaries
They are unable to relax and have fun
They are impatient and irritable
The Characteristics of Work Addicts
They are usually in a hurry
They have a strong need to control
They expect perfection of themselves and others around them
They suffer from physical problems usually brought on because of stress, poor eating habits and lack of exercise such as headaches, fatigue, indigestion, allergies, stomach upset, ulcers, chest pain, shortness of breath, nervous tics and dizziness
Addicted workers often try to do several things at once. They eat breakfast while balancing figures, return phone calls while typing on the computer, or read the business and trade papers while going over meeting notes. Work addicts also feel indispensable and are consequently unable to delegate.
Yet as bad as work addiction can get, there is hope for the work addict:
Steps toward personal recovery
Take a time management course.
Reorganise your life so that work becomes proportionate to family, friends and self. Switch your focus to relaxation, exercise, nutrition and spiritual development.
Slow your work pace and also learn to eat, talk, walk and drive slower.
Learn to relax through massage or relaxation exercises.
Work in moderation and keep regular hours.
Set boundaries between work and personal life.
Strengthen family ties through shared activities and rituals.
Renew old acquaintances and join social clubs that don’t include co-workers.
Learn to live in the present, truly listen to others and as trite as it may sound stop and smell the roses.