7 Danger Signs of Workaholism
How often do you hear people say,
“Oh, he’s a total workaholic.”
“I’m a workaholic.”
“We’re just a bunch of workaholics around here!”
Truth is, the days of joking about being a workaholic are over. Research shows that workaholism can seriously eat into productivity and damage the health of your workplace culture. It all points to these seven danger signs of workaholism:
1. Whether we like it or not, workaholism is often seen as a badge of honor. Managers recognize people who work long hours, thus motivating them to put in even longer hours, thus depleting energy and creating a lack of focus.
2. Researchers from the University of Bergen have identified at least four symptoms of workaholism. For instance, do you:
- think of how you can free up more time to work,
- stay at work to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety or depression,
- become stressed if you are prohibited from working, or
- limit hobbies, leisure activities and/or exercise because of work?
3. Workaholics feed off their own “cycle of adrenaline”:
4. Workaholism has befriended technology. Where’s my iPhone? Laptop? Find bluetooth. Charge kindle. Check email. Conference call now starting. (Any bells or ring tones going off inside? Hold on, someone’s calling.)
5. Personality profile tools show that leadership types are particularly prone to workaholism. Consider Myers-Briggs ENTJ’s and Enneagram 3’s, one of which said, “My wife threatened me to read two books on workaholism, and like a workaholic, I read three. Each one convinced me I had a problem.”
6. At the end of the day, workaholics don’t get more done and are not more effective. In fact, over time they become less effective, causing more damage than good, creating fires that don’t exist, —and threatening employee engagement.
7. Perhaps, the greatest danger of workaholism is a person’s health. Due to excess work, the immune system often becomes compromised. This can lead to a series of potential health problems and diseases. Chronic workaholics also have a higher tendency to die of brain aneurisms.
The answer to workaholism
It goes back to addiction, and the Bible speaks to addiction:
Leaders stay clear of being addicted to much wine (1 Timothy 3:3).
Being free of sexual addiction is also an imperative (1Corinthains 6:8).
To guard against workaholism, God commands His children to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy (Ex 16:23). Consider:
- Putting boundaries around your work. Value your job, but treasure, even more, your home, family, significant friendships, and time with God.
- Develop spiritual practices. Peaceful solitude, prayer, Scripture, and a personal retreat can create a deeper walk with Jesus.
- True Sabbath rest can be heavenly.
- Invite a small group of people to hold you accountable; include your spouse, pastor, or longtime friend. And give thanks for the One who’s in your midst: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20).
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