I recently mentioned that I am a self improvement enthusiast. This article by Katheryn Rivas is a perfect fit in the self improvement category. After reading the article, I have discovered I am a raging workaholic. With my laptop constantly in front of my face, I know I don’t take enough time for myself, my family, or to look at the flowers let alone smell them. How about you??
Perhaps you or someone you know has been described, almost facetiously, as a workaholic. You come in to work early, you stay late, you think about work before you go to sleep, maybe even while you’re on vacation. Needless to say, as heirs to our Puritan legacy, we Americans consider having a strong work ethic to be virtue. But with twelve to fifteen hour work days becoming commonplace, has our work ethic gone too far?
Although there is no accepted medical term for workaholism, the obsessive desire to work has been associated with stress disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder. In legal terms, a workaholic is referred to as an ergomaniac. Ergomania is not just limited to an addiction to work, but rather includes any kind of obsession with strenuous activity, like exercise.
Even though we think of the typical workaholic as someone who is productive to an astonishing degree, a symptom typical of ergomania is procrastination. According to Dr. Bryan Robinson, a clinical therapist who has researched and treated ergomania, workaholics fall into several camps. There’s the “savoring workaholic,” who, terrified of completion, will put off tasks or slowly and deliberately work so that he or she is never finished. There’s also the “all-or-nothing” type, who, from an obsessive desire to complete tasks perfectly, finds that he is unable to start a project if he thinks that he cannot do it right.
In 1983, the first unofficial Workaholics Anonymous meeting was held, after two self-described workaholics, a corporate financial planner and a school teacher, met and learned that they shared the same debilitating problem.
Now, Workaholics Anonymous is a thriving worldwide organization, with its main office based in Menlo Park, California. Over the years, WA has developed its own literature, including the Workaholics Anonymous Book of Recovery, although many of their methods are based on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
So, are you a workaholic? The following are WA’s twenty questions used to identify workaholism. If you answer yes to three or more questions, then may need to reassess your priorities.
1. Do you get more excited about your work than about family or anything else?
2. Are there times when you can charge through your work and other times when you can’t?
3. Do you take work with you to bed? On weekends? On vacation?
4. Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most?
5. Do you work more than 40 hours a week?
6. Do you turn your hobbies into money-making ventures?
7. Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts?
8. Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time?
9. Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won’t otherwise get done?
10. Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?
11. Do you believe that it is okay to work long hours if you love what you are doing?
12. Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
13. Are you afraid that if you don’t work hard you will lose your job or be a failure?
14. Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?
15. Do you do things energetically and competitively including play?
16. Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else?
17. Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?
18. Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?
19. Do you work or read during meals?
20. Do you believe that more money will solve the other problems in your life?
This guest post is contributed by Katheryn Rivas, who writes on the topics of online universities. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org.