Overinvesting yourself at work is becoming more and more common because of a deeply-rooted myth ingrained in people’s minds: the value of your work depends on the number of hours you put in. This belief can have serious consequences for employees.
The definition of workaholic: Someone addicted to work
Overinvesting yourself at work is actually a form of suffering relating to a state of addiction with regard to your work. This is particularly the case when it is difficult to distinguish the line between our professional and private life. Our thoughts are consumed by work and this can have a direct impact on our mental and physical health.
Popularised by Wayne Oates, the term “workaholic” refers to a worker who is too invested and who doesn’t show any real appreciation for the results that are achieved. In addition to this, they may not be invested in other aspects of their life, such as family, hobbies and holidays.
Are you a workaholic? Take our test to find out
If you answer yes to the following questions, then here is your diagnosis.
1. You always want to do more
2. You never say no
You try to do everything your colleagues’ ask of you, you can never say no, even if you are already overloaded with your own work.
3. Work is a real obsession for you
Your thoughts are consumed by work and your loved ones think your behaviour is excessive.
4. Your schedule is always overloaded
You are no longer able to make yourself available to those around you. You don’t even have a minute to spare to take some time out.
5. You have tell-tale physical signs
After your day at work, you often have backache and your eyes are sore. You are physically exhausted.
The reasons for being so invested in our jobs
Wanting to always work that bit more can stem from several reasons:
- A need for recognition. We feel the need to demonstrate what we are capable of and succeed in society.
- A need to be liked. We want to be useful and helpful to others in order to make ourselves feel liked and appreciated.
- A need for perfection. We always want to push our limits and be more productive and skilled.
- A need for compensation. If we lack self-esteem and self-confidence, it’s easy to make up for this with work. Recognition of our work will directly impact our self-confidence and we will end up liking ourselves more than before.
What are the risks involved with working relentlessly?
Someone who goes too far with their work risks being less efficient and less productive. Exhausted by never-ending hours, they will find it increasingly difficult to concentrate and will make more mistakes. This loss of concentration results in a decrease in motivation, with the employee putting their mental and physical health in danger. Overinvesting yourself at work can trigger an increase in stress levels, depression and even burnout.
Remember that addictions to things like alcohol, smoking and psychoactive substances can have wider consequences. There are so many repercussions they can have on your private life, for instance, an increase in divorce rates.
What are the solutions breaking this addiction to work
In order to let go, you can choose to undergo psychotherapy or attend yoga and relaxation classes. However, you can also use the following tips:
1. Learn to say no
When your work load becomes too heavy, learn to say no and assert yourself. Don’t be afraid to make your scope of responsibility clear with your colleagues and establish a clear framework of boundaries in your work.
2. Have more self-confidence in yourself
Showcase your positive attributes and talents whilst accepting your weaknesses. You can mark your successes in a diary to make yourself more confident in your abilities.
3. Get your priorities straight
Try to sort out your most urgent tasks from the less important ones. If you’re overinvested, you might think you’re the only one capable of carrying out certain tasks. However, it’s important that you learn to delegate.
4. Reconnect with what is important
Ask yourself the question: “What really matters in my life?”. Make a note of what is important to you. Don’t be scared of setting aside time for yourself, to help you find a good balance between private and professional life.
Editor's opinion - Don't push yourself too far
Being a hard worker is a fantastic and admirable attribute, however, as with everything there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. Your desire to achieve good results shouldn't end up taking over your life and lead to you putting yourself in danger. Overinvesting at work can have several consequences for our mental and physical health. Don’t be afraid to get in touch with your psychologist at work or with our qualified psychologists if you have trouble switching off.
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