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Workaholics United: Are You One Of Us?

Updated on May 19, 2015
Maria Glensie profile image

Maria Glensie has acquired a Bachelors Degree in Materials Engineering but has been writing long since her early years.

I have recently read an article from Forbes.com that talked about signs that one may be a workaholic and I would like to share the points I've found according to the research of Psychologists. These may seem to be a short list to accurately estimate one's passion for work, but I figured it won't hurt to find out.

The Work Addiction Scale

It is called Bergen Work Addiction Scale (BWAS)

Norwegian researchers from the Department of Psychosocial Science at the University of Bergen, began studying the behaviors of the modern working people and they have eventually set out a scale (or more like a checklist) on which one may be able to assess how workaholic an individual is. The work addiction scale depicts the following seven criteria that are actually essential in considering a person to be workaholic and may be in possession of what they call work addiction. I tried to assess myself and my responses to the following points are italicized.

1. You think of how you can free up more time to work.

  • I don't just think. I put it into writing. I end up doing an Excel of it even. I have timetables depicting what should be done at 30-minute intervals. No I am not mental, and no, I clearly do not have an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I just needed a concrete assurance that what I'm attempting to do is realistic. Nothing wrong with that right?

2. You spend much more time working than initially intended.

  • May it be related to the current job I am in, or just plain sidelines - I think about how to maximize free time and incredibly turn it into working time. Who works during lunchbreaks anyway instead of basically eating lunch? Well, for the record, I do.

3. You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and/or depression.

  • To reduce the feeling of guilt: Guilty of not working as hard as I should have. You know it when you think you could have done a lot better than the outcome. No one wants something substandard, so it feels really depressing to know that you have somehow let your boss down.
  • To reduce the feeling of anxiety: I get anxiety attacks every time I have to miss a day at work when I know I have tons of work to finish. These may be due to my poor health condition, or emergencies that would make me miss work. I will then be fussing too much about the things that will be carried on the next day which will then make me end up working double time to make up for the loss. My thinking would be this:
  1. There will be twice as much emails to receive and read.
  2. There will be twice as much orders to attend to.
  3. There will be twice as everything else in between.

4. You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.

  • Yes. I have been told - once, twice, a lot actually. I can't be blamed though. If I don't finish the job now, then when? I hate cramming. Whoever says they love cramming is just out of their heads. Besides, there is this feeling you get when you are already so engrossed with what you are doing that you can't just be bothered as you may lose that momentum. A single distraction may result to a new World War. Anyone responsible for such disruption of work will be slain. And do not ever tell me that you have not been warned.

5. You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.

  • Thank goodness! Finally a point where I could easily say I do not do. Nope, being prohibited from working does not stress me at all. Except for the fact that I get anxiety attacks when I feel ill and seems like I won't be able to go to work. Now that's when I get stressed out - but that does not give this point, a point. This is all that I have ever wanted to be asked to do. Freedom!

6. You deprioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and/or exercise because of your work.

  • Every once in a while, yes I do. Or else, there must be some adjustments just to compromise the deal. There has got to be some other way that I may still be able to do enjoyable things that will not come in the way of my working schedule. Let me see. Aha! Deduct hours from sleeping time! Perfect!

7. You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.

  • Yes and no. What happens to me is basically the other way around. I have always been very sickly since I was a child, but never has it been a hindrance to my being a workaholic. So it is not because of overworking that makes me ill, hence the negative health status. But regardless of my poor well-being, I still work a lot. Having said such, I feel like a little rebel now actually. Bring on the workload!

Am I or Am I Not?

To summarize my assessment, 6 points affirmed out of the 7 makes me exactly 85.71428% workaholic based on the BWAS checklist. Sure there will always be pros and cons in regards to this matter and I could easily say one major setback of being too involved with work makes one person distant from the world surrounding him. I personally do not want to be like that so I believe proper time management will just have to do the trick. Find out how I try to standardize my 24 hours in this article.

Go on, assess yourself, too. Answer the poll and let's see how you fare with this checklist.

What is your score based on the 7 points of being a workaholic?

See results

Did you like this article?

5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of Workaholics United

© 2015 Glensie J D

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    • Maria Glensie profile image
      Author

      Glensie J D 2 years ago

      Dear Kenneth,

      You're doing great with the not complaining part. I'm pretty bad with holding in my whiney self at times. I'm really happy to hear you like my humor, it could get worse in person. And I appreciate that it somehow delights you in some way. I guess, that's the best I can do for now.

      Stay happy despite whatever. You're awesome. :)

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear sweet Maria,

      Thank you so much for the kind wish. When you have a heart cath, it makes you weak with or without surgery. So I am dealing with a weakness as well as Fibromyalgia in my joints, nerve endings, and bones. But there are others worse than I. So I work at not complaining.

      I am glad that you are my friend and such a talented writer. I enjoy your sharp sense of humor and how you look at life.

      Take it E-Z and write anytime you like.

      Love you.

    • Maria Glensie profile image
      Author

      Glensie J D 2 years ago

      I hope you're doing fine Kenneth. It's been a while since I last checked my page, due to the fact that work and some personal stuff got in the way of my writing. Thank you for reading and leaving a piece of your mind. I'm glad here's another amazing workaholic who dropped by. Take care!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Marie,

      Great hub. Great usage of art and graphics. I loved your "tribute" to workaholics. Thank you. I am a former workaholic due to a series of physical tragedies--Fibromyalgia, and a heart cath three weeks ago. I am at home living on med's and painshots.

      Enough about me. You keep up the great work.

    • Maria Glensie profile image
      Author

      Glensie J D 2 years ago

      FlourishAnyway, so you mean to say, you gave yourself just years then went on your own to do the things you really wanted to do? I am almost done with my 1st in year at my current job and though it pays the bills, I'm really not sure that this is the life I wanted. I don't think I can work for 25 years like you Stella.

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi Maria, I have always been a workaholic since i was a kid. I am much better about it than I use to be now that I am retired and only work enjoyable work. I work only part time for myself and love my work. I worked the first 25 years not loving my work just the better pay. Great hub, Stella

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      In the corporate world I was full tilt because I worked for a Fortune 500 company's corporate office that demanded it. My strategy was 5 years, all in, make all the money I could then split. I love life now.

    • Maria Glensie profile image
      Author

      Glensie J D 2 years ago

      Fascinating story Alan. Having read that you are now retired and time is no longer a luxury, I think I'm feeling impatient again and want to retire soon! But not until I've accomplished my goals. Since you mentioned monsters, I realised, yes, you are right. I will be more cautious. Thank you Molly and MG Singh for taking the time to read!

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 2 years ago from Singapore

      Very interesting Maria, you have a good grasp of the subject

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 2 years ago from Alberta

      I fit five of these. Ah well.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan R Lancaster 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Interesting stuff, Maria. You could develop this page a bit, maybe give instances/case histories of people affected by each of the stages.

      When I first took my job of Queries Clerk, liasing between the Displayed Advertising and Advertising Accounts departments back in 1980 at the 'Daily Telegraph' in Fleet Street (EC4) I enjoyed the work. Then came the problems. Sales staff in Fleet Street didn't like Ad Accounts staff in Shoe Lane (round the corner), and sometimes deliberately hindered progress. The workload increased and I was given a little office that had been occupied by one of the advertising production staff. He wasn't happy either. Then we moved offices to South Quay on the Isle of Dogs (Limehouse, E14) after Conrad Black bought Telegraph Newspapers (Daily and Sunday editions) and many of the staff took redundancy. I and another character did the work on computer that a dozen had done manually before, and the workload went up again when he transferred to accounts (he'd been in Advertising Accounts in Shoe Lane). I was entitled to six weeks' leave annually and only took four, one week at a time. I had help after the weekend and Bank Holidays, where the paper check had to be done by Tuesday for invoicing (Display and Classified advertising in Travel, Books, Gardening, Run of Paper, Sport...). Thursdays we had a large recruitment section, about 24 pages originally with Classified and Display, but mostly Classified and Semi-display. I was pretty chuffed when I was made redundant (£20K-odd, plus almost £2K share-save) I wasn't going to leave and let them get away with not coughing up for overloading me!) In the Production department one character had to be prised from his desk (he was a genuine case of Workaholism, mine was imposed).

      Have I learnt? Well I have and I haven't. I'm a pensioner now, I can book my leave when I want it (if I can afford it), for as long as I want. Now I've got a different stick to beat myself with, it's called 'writing books', five published so far, one 'on the stocks'.

      Be careful with your monsters.

    • Maria Glensie profile image
      Author

      Glensie J D 2 years ago

      High five Melissa!

    • melissae1963 profile image

      Melissa Reese Etheridge 2 years ago from Tennessee, United States

      I am a workaholic. I rarely do anything but work.

    • Maria Glensie profile image
      Author

      Glensie J D 2 years ago

      I guess we somehow come to embrace the responsibilities and challenges we encounter in our daily lives that we tend materialize new ways of coping to such. It's either we calm down or ask for more. I happen to be doing the latter. Thank you all for sharing your insights! :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      To me it's not work until it isn't fun.

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I passed by there in my younger years... survived to better time. Thanks for a fun read, and a few memories... did tire me a bit, I'll admit! ;-)

    • Credence2 profile image

      Credence2 2 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      Great article with lots of visual appeal. Fortunately, workalcoholism is a malady that I do not suffer from...

    working