Workaholic Definition : Noun /ˌwərkəˈhôlik,ˌwərkəˈhälik/ – a person who compulsively works hard and long hours.
So you’re a workaholic, I get it. So am I.
If you’ve followed along on my life adventures here or on Instagram (@teenafey), you know that I’ve kind of been on a small hiatus – Not really posting or promoting, Not really talking with anyone, Focusing on what I’m working on outside of my digital life and that’s really about it. It really was an unintentional break, but here we are almost 4 months later and I am finally getting back into the swing of things. And that really makes me happy and is something I’ve wanted to do for months but just couldn’t! Why has it been so difficult to get back to writing and sharing? Short Answer here is work. I have been so utterly and completely consumed with work that I barely have time to eat or get up from my desk throughout the day.
I started a new job mid-pandemic as a Marketing Strategist and I love every second of it. I work with some amazing brands and have been involved in some amazing branding and marketing projects. (Check out how I might be able to help you or your business). I’ve been so focused on work that I’ve put my blinders on to other parts of my life, including some things and people I really care about. So as a workaholic, I get it.
One of the hardest things to do as a workaholic is take a break, remove yourself from work for a bit and not worry. Even if you know that breaks have a huge positive impact to your productivity level, it’s still tough to really commit to one. By definition, workaholic means someone who can’t help but continuously work long and hard hours. Devoting all your time to work means that time has to be taken from somewhere else in your life. We do only get 24 hours in every day, we have to make the best of that. Borrowed time typically comes from spending it with family and friends, sleep, and even side hustles or passion projects that fulfill our human!
There’s nothing wrong with working hard, but when that time starts to be taken and your happiness is effected, it’s time to re-evaluate. Here’s 5 ways to keep your workaholic tendencies in check.
How to Disconnect From Work as a Workaholic
Work in Time Blocks and Respect Your Schedule
Workaholics get that there is not such thing as an 8 hour work day, that’s a rumor and a myth. The workaholic definition of when to stop working is when it’s done, and work is never done. Start breaking up your schedule into Time Blocks. Set a strict period of time that you are devoting to one specific task. When the time is up, you are done. If you are finished or not. The beauty of working in time blocks, especially as a workaholic, is that you acknowledge the deadline and you do whatever it takes to hit that deadline. There’s no more working until 1am or 2am when you set a limit that the task must be completed by 6pm, sharp.
Setting time blocks is only as effective as you are. The second part to this strategy is respecting your schedule. If you say it will be done at 6pm, you will be done at 6pm. Not 6:05pm or 8pm. 6pm. No excuses.
Start by evaluating the task or job at hand and come up with an estimate of home much time it will take to complete, or how much time you can devote to it in a single day. Then do it! It’s that simple. By setting and respecting your schedule, your overworking, workaholic tendencies will start to transform you into an incredibly productive worker over time. When your work is done for the day, so are you.
One of the most difficult things for a workaholic to do is to stop thinking about work. Thoughts are constantly racing through one’s head before, during and after work and all those thoughts are about, you guessed it, work. Even if it’s just for five minutes, the idea of not stressing over work and really being able to disconnect is pretty peaceful.
Meditation is a great way to escape. The beauty of meditation is that you can devote 5 minutes to multiple hours or time to focuses on things other than work. Following guided meditations, or even taking a yoga class, can help clear you head for just a few minutes. You can search on YouTube for Guided Meditations and can escape through a quick video that is dedicated to bring rest and relaxation to those who constantly work on overtime.
Adding a 5 or 10 minute break into your day to practice rest and relaxation not only helps you disconnect from work, but can help with productivity in many parts of your life. Adding meditation into your morning or night routine can leave you feeling refreshed to start or end your day. Whenever you may find your mind racing about work, try incorporating a breathing exercise in its place. Invest in your well-being like you do your work!
Take a Lunch Break
Eat. I repeat, do not skip lunch.
Food is what keeps you going. If you are depriving yourself of food during the work day, you are not allowing yourself to be as productive as you could be. Not only does food fuel you and help keep your brain focused, but it also keeps you from getting hangry. The last thing you need is your emotions getting in the middle of work, whether it be with your internal team or a client. Maintaining your emotions can be directly correlated to how you eat. Crazy right? But it’s true.
Not skipping lunch can help you while you are working because it also helps with productivity. It helps you disconnect from work because If you are productive during the day and finish your work during the allotted time, my workaholic friend you will be able to disconnect from work without a worry.
You heard me go get active! Being a workaholic means you are so invested in your work, your whole entire life revolves around it. There’s no better way to get your hamsters off their wheel in your brain than going and getting active. Sign up for a gym membership and start working out. Lifting weights and cardio is a great way to keep your body healthy, but also a great way to clear your mind. When you step into a gym, you are leaving your work-self behind and stepping into a new mindset. Getting into a fitness routine can keep you focused on goals that have absolutely nothing to do with work.
Whether it be joining a gym and getting started on your own, hiring a personal trainer, getting a Peloton, or joining a group fitness studio like SoulCycle or OrangeTheory, there are so many options for you to check out of work. What better than getting physically fit but also doing a little something for you mental health.
Having something to look forward too, besides from work, can be a major help in disconnecting for work everyday. So my workaholics out there, go get active.
Use Your Paid Time Off
Give yourself a break. Allow yourself to disconnect. By forcing yourself to work through holidays and days when you are sick, you are being an enabler to your workaholic self. It’s a tough mindset shift, but you have to allow yourself time to not work and truly be disconnected from work.
If you are a true workaholic, you probably cringed reading those three sentences. Reality is you know it’s true.
By working so hard day in and out you have earned a few days off. Go on a trip you’ve always wanted, spend a day with family, or even take a day to get some housework done. Your reasons can be anything, but take the time that you have earned. A workaholic knows that burnout is a real life possibility, especially when you are focused on work all 24 hours of the day. Remember to remind yourself that it is okay to take a day off of work. Work will always be there and it is not going anywhere, you earn your paid time off. When it comes down to it, as a workaholic, you have to admit that it is ok to take your mind off a work for a bit!
Taking a break from work is ok. Workaholics, don’t cringe at that thought. With last week being National Mental Health Awareness Week, it’s important to continue putting our mental health first this week and every week to follow. Being a workaholic is a good thing, it means you are dedicated, passionate, hard-working, and hungry for growth. Don’t let it become a weakness. Keep your productivity high and keep burnout at an all time low. Disconnect from work every once in a while, I promise it will end up okay!