In a society that encourages overwork at every turn, it’s easy to become completely wrapped up in your job. After all, the better you perform on the job, the better-positioned you’ll be for a pay raise, promotion or other noteworthy reward for your efforts. While being driven to succeed is never a bad thing, it’s entirely possible to overdo it and succumb to work addiction. In addition to wearing you out physically and mentally, work addiction stands to destroy your personal relationships and ultimately ensure that work is the only thing in your life. So, if you suspect you may be suffering from work addiction, don’t hesitate to take the following steps.
Redefining What Success Means to You
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with setting lofty goals, doing so stands to set you up for disappointment. For example, if the desire to improve your standing within a company is what drives you to work yourself to the bone, it’s worth examining how likely you actually are to receive the promotion(s) you seek. Does your employer regularly recognize and reward hard work, or do they generally regard it as a given? Will your life become measurably better if you receive a certain promotion, or will this promotion require you to work even harder for a negligible increase in pay?
If you discover that you’re seeking success for the sake of success, you’d do well to provide yourself with a clear picture of what success truly looks like. Is the success you seek likely to improve your general quality of life? If the answer is no, it’s time to reassess your goals and redefine success. This isn’t to say that work isn’t important, but defining success as something that comes exclusively from professional pursuits is hardly conducive to personal fulfillment.
Giving Yourself Clear-Cut Work Hours
To say that many employers saddle workers with unreasonable expectations would be an understatement. Although most full-time members of the workforce are paid for 40 hours a week, they often devote even more time than that to their jobs. It’s become commonplace for people to bring work home, take work-related calls during personal time and answer emails well into the night. This essentially amounts to unpaid overtime and ensures that no one ever truly clocks out. While employers enjoy having this level of control over the lives of employees, no company is entitled to this much of your time.
You can help break this cycle by giving yourself clear-cut work hours. The workday will begin at a certain time and definitively end at a certain time each day. For example, regarding your arrival at the office as the official start of the day and your departure as the official end can prove extremely beneficial to your stress levels and mental health. If the whole point of working is maintaining a comfortable quality of life, shouldn’t you actually have time to enjoy that quality of life?
Treating Your Health as a Priority
Work should never take precedence over your physical health or psychological well-being. So, if your employer expects you to prioritize your job duties over your health, this should be taken as a red flag. Working with a dedicated counselor or therapist can be a great way to keep your stress levels in check and cope with the effects of a demanding job. A knowledgeable mental health professional will be able to provide you with practical solutions to work-related problems and help you reassess unrealistic career goals.
You can also safeguard your health by engaging in relaxing pastimes, like meditation, reading and journaling. Additionally, if recreational marijuana use is legal in your state, consider experimenting with strains that are conducive to stress relief. Arizonans who are new to cannabis and looking for answers are urged to get in touch with a good Arizona dispensary.
It isn’t hard to see why so many Americans become addicted to working. Given how much time most of us spend at work, it’s only natural that we’d feel compelled to complete as much work as we can within the shortest possible time-frame. However, regardless of how powerful your drive for success is, your entire existence should not revolve around your job. Anyone looking for effective ways to nip work addiction in the bud should heed the pointers discussed above.