5 Signs You’re A Workaholic

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If you’re “type A” you probably have some pretty exacting ideas of how to do pretty much everything right—and wrong. Most likely, you’ll put in a lot of time and mental/emotional energy making sure that things get done the right way, and the first time. Diligence, accomplishment, ambition and pride in your work are all good things. But one thing that type-A, conquer-the-world people are prone to is workaholism.

While you might get a lot done and do it well, there’s a balance to living, and sacrificing that balance can cause stress, strain on relationships, and even health issues. Of course, if you see everything you’re accomplishing, it might be hard to acknowledge that you’re taking things a little far. Here are some signs you’re off balance and need a little more downtime.

You can’t sleep.

This comes in several delightful flavors. One of them is simply stress: you can’t sleep because you lie awake thinking about all the stuff you need to get done. If the things you’ve taken on are keeping you too tense to shut your brain down, you might need to let them go. If the things that stress you the most are truly crucial and you can’t put them down, then try asking for help, or cut out other things so that you have time to focus on what’s really important.

The other side of the sleepless nights are when you want to sleep, but you can’t. If you have six projects due over the next two days, plus work, volunteer night, and you’re helping a friend move, you’re either a major procrastinator, or you’ve packed too much into too little time. You know who you are.

You skip self-care.

Do you love cooking and eating healthy, but instead buy fast food more than half the time? Is your beauty regimen down to brushing your teeth, and you’re contemplating shaving your head because you barely have time to brush your hair? Is your work space in rigid order, but your personal space a disaster zone? Have you started wearing long sleeves because you never have time to shave? Stopped working out entirely? Breaking out because you never wash your face? And the reason is when you have time, you’re too tired, right? You’re taking things way too far.

You feel resentful of people with time.

If you use the phrase “no one else ever does any work around here,” it might be true, but it also might be that you’re just missing your free time. If you get annoyed because someone else has time for a vacation, a night out, to surf the internet, or even to sleep, you’ve probably packed your schedule too tightly. Ask yourself if you’re too quick to say “yes,” without considering if you actually have the time for something. It’s great to volunteer and help friends, but you probably won’t be much help if you’re angry about doing it.

Distractions make you angry.

If someone interrupts you while you’re working, how do you react? Whether or not you end up yelling at someone, if you feel annoyed, ask yourself why. Is it because you’re frantically trying to finish before your next task is due? And then the next one, and the next one? Of course, everyone gets annoyed sometimes, and everyone has stretches of days or weeks where they’re busier than usual. But if you constantly can’t stand interruption, maybe the problem isn’t the interruption.

You never do anything you enjoy.

Of course, you might enjoy your work, but you never do anything that’s just for fun. Hobbies, spending time with family, working out, going out, et cetera tend to be the first to go when you have too much. If your friends have to schedule a coffee date a month in advance, you likely need more free time.

Think you’re a little off balance? It might seem impossible to step out of anything on your to-do list. If you can’t get out right away, try finishing up some of the short term tasks and then leaving the space they took open. Think of ways to reduce some of your tasks, or ask for some help. You don’t have to do everything at once, and you won’t be able to if you make yourself sick from doing too much. Remember to relax sometimes, even if it’s just with a day off in your pajamas. There will still be plenty of worlds to conquer once you’re finished.

I'm a lover of words in all forms, sweatshirts in all conditions, and God in all circumstances. I particularly enjoy working collaboratively on the written word and wearing microfiber robes (preferably at the same time). Most of the time I don't get enough sleep, but I make a valiant effort.

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