Thinking about all this, I remembered the article I wrote on workplace gratitude. While I still agree with myself, I might have written it differently had I been thinking about workaholism at the time. I might have added a disclaimer. It's one thing to put in 110 percent because having a good work ethic is important to you. But putting your entire life into your job because you're fixated on it and need it in order to feel something…that is, I'm starting to realize, very unhealthy.
What I'm doing about it
Not only does communicating this issue make it more real to me, it also keeps me from engaging in workaholic behavior. For example, Brian knows and agrees that I have an issue, so when my work email dings at dinner, I don't pick it up because he's looking at me like I'm some of kind of fiend.Setting boundaries Recently, things were becoming so overwhelming that I had to drop a client - this wasn't easy. It wasn't a huge loss income-wise, but it was still tough. Maybe because of how I grew up, this was like looking a gift horse in the mouth. But I did it; I politely said “no” and thereby set a boundary for myself. Disconnecting Part of the reason the statistics keep climbing, I think, is that technology makes work so accessible. Even if you don't work from home, you likely take your office with you. I've started to disconnect. I've disabled email on my phone, for example, and set my laptop to automatically go to sleep. Work is important. A career is important. I'm certainly not suggesting neglecting either one. But personally, I've gone overboard, and ultimately, I guess it stems from a fixation on building wealth. And I'm still intent on building wealth. But while I do think hard work pays off, I've found that an obsession with it can backfire and end up costing you instead.