5 Signs That You Are a Workaholic

Think back to your first job interview. The interviewer most likely asked some form of this question: 

“What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?” 

As someone desperately hoping to land the job, you might have proudly stated, “My biggest strength is I am a workaholic.” 

Little did you know, that could turn out to be your biggest weakness. 

Now, there is nothing wrong with being passionate about your career and driven towards success in your professional life. However, there is a difference between being a driven worker and a workaholic. 

July 5 is National Workaholics Day. To celebrate, we are sharing 5 signs to look for to see if you are a workaholic.  

1. Work-Life Balance? Never Heard of it….

As a business owner, it can be hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance. However, a workaholic has no semblance of this balance. You never work a traditional 8am – 5pm schedule, often stretching your workday well into the evening. So much so that your personal relationships are negatively impacted due to your lack of investment. The lack of an adequate work-life balance hinders the opportunities for growth in your personal relationship because all of your focus is on your work.

EPI Tips:

We know as business owners there are going to be some late nights at the office. However, if you actively work on decentralizing yourself from the business, these nights will be few and far between. 

2. You Never Set an “Out of Office” Reply Message

Even when you are out of the office, you are never truly “off the clock.” Whether you are on a vacation with your family, sick in bed with the flu, or simply celebrating a national holiday, you never stop working. According to Forbes, “The number one sacrifice owners make each year is not taking a vacation. More than half (60%) only take one vacation per year; nearly one quarter (23%) take fewer than two vacation days annually. When they do go on vacation, more than 75% still work.” 

EPI Tips:

It can seem almost impossible to immediately switch from working at all hours of the day, but implementing some scheduled “off the clock” time will lessen the risk of burning out. The stress of running a business takes its toll on an owner. By taking some time away from work, even if that is simply not responding to emails over the weekend, you are able to make more time for your personal life.  

3. You Believe Your Business Would Crumble if You Stopped Working

In a workaholic’s mind, everything is their responsibility. If they do not work every day, they feel strongly that the business would collapse. Since, surely, they are the only person capable of handling the work and must see it through each day. A key characteristic of this is a lack of trust. If you as a business owner cannot trust your employees and leadership team to make educated decisions to solve problems, you feel that only you are qualified to handle them.    

EPI Tips:

In a business that is independent of the owner, the Executive Leadership Team is empowered with the accountability and authority to make key decisions without the owner. Decentralizing yourself from daily business operations will not only provide your employees with more opportunities for advancement but will make you more available for your personal endeavors. 

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4. You Feel Restless When Not Working

On the off-chance you spend a few moments not working, you feel like you could be doing something more beneficial with your time. Free time makes you uneasy. You think of all the tasks you could be doing and how far behind you will be if you continue to “sit around doing nothing.” This restlessness can be attributed to the person’s drive to feel useful and needed. 

According to Fast Company, “Workaholics may devote excessive time and mental energy to work in an effort to feel competent, particularly if they don’t feel competent in other areas of their lives.”  

EPI Tips:

If you have a strong desire to work on useful tasks, we recommend filling that time with other worthwhile projects that are separate from your business. Volunteering is a great way to incorporate activities outside of your business into your life while positively impacting those around you.

5. You Draw a Blank When Someone Asks, “So What Do You Do For Fun Outside of Work?”

This is probably one of the most stressful small talk questions, “What do you like to do for fun?” Suddenly you forget everything you have ever done in your life. Do you even have fun? Who’s to say. You scramble to think of one activity that brings you joy but also doesn’t make you seem boring. But the only thing you can think of is, “I like to work.” 

Then it hits you, you wake up thinking about work, you fall to sleep thinking about work, and you have no idea what your personal goals, passions, or interests are. How will you spend your time when you leave your business? You spend over 50 hours a week working in your business now, do you even have 50 hours of activities to fill that time? 

EPI Tips:

Think about the things in your life outside of your business that give your life meaning and purpose. Spend a few days disconnected from your business to explore your personal life passions. Perhaps it is spending time strengthening your family relationships, tending to a garden, or expanding your knowledge by reading about topics that interest you. Whatever gives your life purpose should have a place in your personal life. 

Learn more about planning for your personal life and living a fulfilling life outside of your work by requesting our latest whitepaper, “Walking You Through the Perfect Exit – Personal Purpose-driven, Next Act Planning”.