Mayfair, LondonOpen: Monday - Friday, 9am-6.30pmContact therapist for free 15-min consultation

Really need more work? 5 Tips to Help You Address Work Addiction

Workaholism – showing off or a real problem?

Despite our hectic modern world, work addiction is still not taken seriously. We often see that well-known picture of a wife referring to her husband as a ‘workaholic’ because he’s forgotten their anniversary, or a colleague teasing another when a post-work beer is refused in favour of a deadline. ‘Workaholism’ however is a very real addiction, affecting hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and has the power to destroy relationships, families and health in often much of the same ways as substance abuse addictions.

What can I do?

With the ever increasing pressure to perform and compete well in the workplace, when does earning a living become working for working’s sake? Take these 5 steps and find out if work needs to take a back-seat:

  1. Build Awareness – Are you overworking and if so, by how much? Just with a paper and pen (don’t use your PC), make a blank full week-long timetable broken down into small time-slots between rising in the morning and bedtime at night. Include the weekend. Over the course of your week, make a note each day before bed of how you spent your time that day, being honest and specific. Did you do overtime? On what projects? How long were your breaks? Make sure you note every work action along with the time, even including 5 minute e-mail sessions at home
  2. Learning to say ‘no’ – Are you unable to say ‘no’? ‘Co-dependency’ is a psycho-therapeutic term for what is commonly known as ‘people-pleasing.’ Looking at your time-table, how much of your work input was your responsibility? Have you taken on work which wasn’t meant for you? Make a list of all the things you did during this week over and above your workload. Include all chores, post-work e-mails and run-arounds
  3. Evaluate your time balance – Now make a second list of all the things you would have benefitted from having in your day but didn’t have the time to do due to work, for example family activities, exercise, creativity or fun. Study and compare both lists and your timetable
  4. Make a new time-table – Make a projected time-table for the week ahead based on your new-found awareness. Include activities you are obliged to do for work and also those which would benefit you and keep you balanced. How does this potential time-table make you feel? Do you feel this is possible? If not, why not?
  5. Seek Help – Re-evaluating your work-life balance can be unsettling and upsetting. If you are struggling to get clear on your work patterns or feel absent or emotional when you think about it, seek the help of a therapist or coach to help you talk it through

Further help

If you are suffering from work addiction you may find these steps not only hard but perhaps impossible and shrouded in guilt and confusion. Addictions are set deeply within our behavioural patterns and can take time to work through and overcome. We can help with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – get in touch with us now to find out how.