National Workaholics Day: 10 Signs You Live to Work

by | Jul 6, 2021 | Aha! Life

July 5 is recognized annually as National Workaholics Day. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Did you? It makes sense, but it’s also a sad reality that too many of us have an unhealthy relationship with work.

According to National Today, Rodney Dangerfield coined the term “workaholics” when “he described his father and his relationship with alcohol to cope with the burdens of work.” Now we have a day to remind us about the importance of balance between our work and personal life.

According to an article by Tyler Schmall in the New York Post, nearly half of all Americans (54%) consider themselves workaholics. In the study by OnePoll, here are the Top 10 Signs of a Workaholic:

1. Prioritizing work before my personal life – 54%

2. Worrying about work on a day off – 51%

3. Struggling to switch off or actually working while on vacation – 50%

4. Checking emails in the middle of the night – 48%

5. Being the first person to get to work and last to leave – 46%

6. Feeling pressured or too busy to take annual leave – 46%

7. Working through lunch – 45%

8. Feeling anxious or lost if I don’t check in/know what’s happening at work – 45%

9. Being told by friends/family I work too much – 44%

10. Checking emails first thing in the morning – 39%

If you can identify with several of these signs, you fit the definition of a workaholic. That means you have an unhealthy balance between your personal and work life.

You are living to work, instead of working to live.

Let’s change that.

You can create a healthy relationship with work and enjoy more balance and wellbeing in your life. Click To Tweet

8 Actions You Can Take to Work to Live:

1. Prioritize your health. Get your annual wellness exams and take preventative care. When you put your health and wellbeing first, you will become more aware of the effects of workaholism on your life (i.e., stress, anxiety, depression, heart disease, obesity).

2. Be on vacation. Don’t just go on vacation, be on vacation. Put your out of office message on and trust your team members to handle whatever arises. If you can, leave your work devices behind. You’re not as vital as you think. Work will go on without you, and you’ll return refreshed, energized, and more productive.

3. Rebrand leisure time as productive time. Workaholics tend to think if they are not busy with work, they’re lazy or falling behind. It’s time to rid yourself of that thinking and prioritize leisure time. Commit to a hobby or personal activity that takes you away from work – mentally, emotionally, and physically. Try an exercise/sport activity once or twice a week, a book club, creative art class, or family game night.

4. Stack your phone. Adopt a phone stacking routine at home or when out with friends. Phone stacking is when everyone agrees to place their phones in a stack/basket away from the gathering to limit distractions and be fully present. If you live alone, you can place your phone in a drawer, with notifications silenced each night at a certain time (e.g., 8 pm) or at least an hour before bed.

5. Know when it’s time to stop working. Set your phone alarm for a reasonable time as a reminder it’s time to leave work.

6. Protect your time. Schedule lunch on your work calendar FIRST and protect that time. When you receive a meeting invitation that conflicts with lunch, propose a different time. Find other blocks of time in your workday for important activities (e.g., reading email, returning phone calls, professional development, internal/external networking, or grabbing coffee with a coworker).

7. Plan and schedule vacations in advance. Look at the year ahead or even half the year and notice which dates work best for vacation (birthdays, anniversaries, kids out of school, etc.) and plan well in advance. Put deposits down and make reservations. When your plans are defined, you’re more likely to follow through. See #2 – be on vacation.

8. Create boundaries. Draw a line between work and home life. For example, make your bedroom a device-free zone – at least keep the laptop out. Develop a wind down ritual on Friday evenings to signal “it’s the weekend.” You may place a fun “away for the weekend” message at your out of office message. People will get the hint that you don’t plan to be connected to work. You might decide to take a walk, meet friends for a happy hour, or order pizza and pop popcorn for Friday movie nights.

Let’s face it. Work is great, but it’s not everything. There’s a whole other side of your life that deserves the best of you. We must create balance between our work and personal life. By doing that, we’ll enjoy both even more, and we’ll live to tell about it.

My Special Invitation to YOU!

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll find more at my website, Your Aha! Life. While you’re there, sign up for my email list. You’ll receive a free exercise that will help you discover your Ikigai – the reason you get up in the morning. You’ll become a part of the growing Your Aha! Life Global Community, have access to my monthly newsletter, the Aha! Moment video and the monthly Aha! Life Journey Accelerator – a free resource every month to help you live your best life. Finally, I invite you to join my private Facebook group, The Aha! Community. We are a 500+ community of healthy achievers who are committed to reaching our full potential and living our best lives. Join us.

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