Workaholic no More: 7 Steps to Transformation

I joined the workforce upon graduating from high school, worked my way through college, and kept going. There are many reasons why I love to work. Not only am I able to support myself – which is extremely important for my self-respect – but I’m also able to channel much of my creativity, knowledge, and passion into a specific direction.

Time went on and life gave me plenty of opportunities to adjust my perspective. I found out that, loving work, can also lead to identifying with it so much that it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters in life.

Work can become an excuse for not being fully engaged with life. Being a workaholic may earn us a gold star as a “team player” at the office, but it won’t give us a rain check for all we miss out on.

Because of our unhealthy working habits, relationships and family life will suffer. Our health, creativity, and ability to enjoy will be undermined. As a result, our effectiveness and productivity will be affected, too!

If you’re fed up with the pace and want to live life now, instead of waiting for retirement, keep in mind that work is what we do to support our life, and not the other way around.

  • Look at your life and habits as if from a distance. What does work mean to you? Are you married to your job? Do you neglect your relationships and your health? Do you keep telling yourself that you have to work this hard, or else . . . ? When and how did you become hooked to this pace of being? Honesty goes a long way.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Engaging in self-condemnation will sabotage your efforts for meaningful change.
  • Being a workaholic usually serves a need (and I don’t mean money.) Working like crazy is the perfect excuse for not dealing with certain situations. If that’s the case, ask for help. Get to the bottom of this. Avoidance can only take you this far and it won’t solve the problem.
  • Make time for you. There is no “Time Godmother” that I know of. If you need time . . . make the time. If not you, who? Pay yourself from the top. Schedule breaks from work, go outside and breathe some fresh air, do nothing, do what you’ve always wanted to do, be with someone you love. Try something different. Break the mold.
  • Engage the people who love you. Let them tell you how your behavior has affected them so far. Decide on how you want to go about changing certain behaviors and ask for their support in doing so.
  • Listen to the excuses you make and watch your self-talk when you make the decision to slow down. Your inner saboteur will throw the book at you. There will be a million reasons why you just can’t stop. Listen, take notice, and don’t fight back. You can’t win. Just go ahead and do what’s good for you despite the voices in your head.
  • Be patient with yourself. Things don’t change overnight. If you impose unrealistic expectations on the process, you’ll become discouraged. Feeling this way will almost certainly take you right back to where you started. Nobody likes feeling demoralized. The temptation to give up will be great.

No matter what your spiritual beliefs are, this present moment is the one sure thing. Go ahead and seize your moment!

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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