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Workaholism: Signs and Dangers

Updated on February 24, 2016
Signs Of A Workaholic
Signs Of A Workaholic

Are you a workaholic?

A workaholic is a person that dedicates himself to his professional career above everything else. There's a huge difference between a hard-worker and a workaholic. They're usually successful in what they do, resulting in a nice financial position and life status making it look like it's not that bad. But, it is. Workaholism is turning into a serious condition that ends in serious cases of stress, exhaustion and personal melt down. On top of that, most workaholics lack in personal relationships since they're so devoted to their professional careers that they can't keep up with a personal life. A lot of them won't even treat themselves with some leisure time.

Differences between hard workers and workaholics

Hard Worker

Hard workers are people that take pride in their work. They like to work, do what they're asked and more with quality and enjoyment. Hard workers can take breaks, they keep their workload in check so it won't affect their personal matters. They have pride and enjoyment in it, but see it as required. They know the difference between leisure and work. On very few occasions, they'll let it affect their family or friends, only when really needed.


A workaholic doesn't know how to separate their work life with their personal life. Every free time they have goes to work. Usually, they find little enjoyment on activities besides work, and their personal life are always in second plan. They're only at peace when working. Most of them will spend their weekend nights doing overtime at home instead of grabbing a few cold beers with their friends. Eventually, they shutdown from any personal relationships and strive for a better professional position.

Workaholism Is A Serious Problem
Workaholism Is A Serious Problem

Signs of a workaholic

If you, a friend or family of yours shows this type of symptoms you should let them know or be aware that this is a serious condition. Workaholism doesn't have much of a negative connotation yet, but with the rise of its awareness and health dangers it's becoming a serious matter. Don't hesitate if you spot this signs on any beloved of yours.

1 - Tunnel vision

Workaholics have a totally different perspective when it comes to work. When they're given a task, they can foresee what else needs to be done. Unlike other people that just take care of the task they were given, they will try to do it all by themselves. They won't stop until everything is done. It's an uncontrollable urge.

2 - Time management

On the contrary to most us that try to schedule everything and make time for work, family, friends and hobbies, workaholics will use many different tools and processes to build around their workload. Every little time frame available is directed towards more and more work. If possible, leaving no time for personal interactions.

3 - Excessive workloads

The more work they have, the happier they will be. They don't care about extra hours or long schedules if they're working. This is one of the most noticeable symptoms.

The Soul Of A Workaholic
The Soul Of A Workaholic

4 - Lack of sleep

Workaholics, normally, suffer from insomnia but it doesn't affect them much on the surface. They always seem rested despite the short breaks and lack of sleep. However, the body feels what their mind doesn't.

5 - Unhealthy diet

The lack of breaks and urge to work leads to unhealthy diets. Workaholics rarely use their lunch break to actually eat. They squeeze every bit of time they have into work. On top of that, there's the stress they're under. Most of them will only eat a snack, not even leaving their desk or taking a break to ventilate.

6 - Leisure

Also, there's no time for leisure. They only feel good when doing some sort of work related activity. Even if they're forced into some free time, they probably won't enjoy it since they could be doing something else to improve their work performance.

Workaholics Fear Of Retirement Is Huge!
Workaholics Fear Of Retirement Is Huge!

7 - Retirement

The biggest taboo in their life. It's just unacceptable for them. They're already petrified of not working, let alone retiring and not doing anything for the rest of their lives.

8 - Family

Workaholics can't separate prioritize family time over work. They will always carry cellphones or other gadgets to be available for work issues, even during family meals or activities. In order to, "save time", many will take their family on business trips instead of family trips.

9 - Excellence

They strive for success. It's one of the reasons that moves them. They need to be the best in what they're doing. Second place is unacceptable, and hardly share merits with someone else. Overly competitive and insanely ambitious are huge defects on workaholics. They don't believe in team work.

10 - Workplace

One of the most incredible characteristics is the ability of working anywhere. Hotels, bathrooms, inside the car, hospitals and even funerals. Wherever they are, they can squeeze in some work hours. They have no boundaries or limits when it comes to this.

11 - Stress

Unlike those that stress under work matters or family issues, workaholics stress when they're not working. This should be a serious wake up call. You need to take time off and take care of yourself.

12 - Lack of self-care

Working while sick will only make it worse. Call in sick if you're feeling under the weather. This measure might seem insane for a workaholic, but that's just it, workaholics don't know when to stop even when their own health is at risk.

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Workaholism Is A Serious Threat
Workaholism Is A Serious Threat

Dangers of workaholism

Stress, lack of self-care, filling the void with work, lack of personal relationships and work prioritization is only a few reasons why workaholism is so dangerous.

Similar to alcoholics, sex addicts and drug addicts, workaholism is just another type of an addiction, in order to, fill the gap inside of you. It doesn't look as dangerous or self-destructive but it doesn't make it any less of a threat to their well being.

Workaholics crush every personal bridge they have by prioritizing their work over anything, therefore, damaging other people's lives. Stress eventually takes its toll, due to the lack of work that they want to do, or the excessive mount they actually do. The lack of hours of rest, relaxation and work days while they're sick will damage that person's health.

In the end, despite of what someone achieves, it's a self-destructive behavior that will catch up with you. And what every type of addicts seem to forget is that they're not only hurting themselves but their loved ones in process.

I'm not saying to give up work or be sloppy. Hard working people get their merit and well deserved rewards. But the difference between hard work and being addicted to it is huge. Ambition is a great virtue if it isn't life damaging.

Take a chill pill and enjoy your time with people that love you. Remember, you are working to have a better life, you're not living to work. What's the point of pushing yourself so hard if you're reaping the rewards? Lay back and find happiness on other things. Relax.

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    • profile image

      Maggie 3 years ago

      Deep thought! Thanks for cotniibutrng.

    • cochitenz profile image

      cochitenz 4 years ago

      Thank you Joraxx! That's exactly the point. They become so addicted to work that they never get to enjoy life's beautiful moments and perks :)!

    • Admiral_Joraxx profile image

      Admiral_Joraxx 4 years ago from Philippines

      That's sick!, some people work all their lives, for what? to earn money and ended up spending all the money they got for their own medication when time comes that all their extra stress finally shows its results. tsk! I think super workaholics needs a little rehab.

      Nice work on the differentiation cochitenz. Voted up and useful!=)