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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Workaholic or hard worker?

Are you still at the office well past the dinner hour? Or are you home but on your laptop, eating potato chips and clacking on your keyboard?

This is the time of year everything swings into full gear -- work responsibilities, networking events and big projects. So here are some questions to ask yourself to figure out if you're a hard worker or a workaholic.

(Remember, it's OK to be excited about what you do for a living. It's a problem if you have no work/life balance!)

* Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time?
* Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
* Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?
* Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else?
* Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?
* Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?
* Do you work or read e-mail during meals?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you need to make some changes. Here are some suggestions I picked up from Columnist Penelope Trunk (author of the "Brazen Careerist") who writes in her blog about different ways to control the amount of time you spend at the office and free up time for other things.

* Find a mentor who is respected but doesn't work insane hours.
* Create something important for yourself outside of work
* Figure out what matters each day and spend your time on that.
*Concentrate on quality of work over quantity. People don’t lose a job for not working unpaid overtime, they lose a job for not performing well at the most important times.

If all else fails, there's always Workaholic's Anonymous.


Blogger Stephanie said...

It's SO easy to be a workaholic when you love your job because sometimes it seems that the lines between "work" and "play" are very gray.

My husband fondly calls me his "little workaholic" when I'm working away on my laptop every night after the baby is in bed. I look up at him and smile - and usually take a break. :)

Thanks for the reminder to do that more often.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous David B. Bohl at said...


Excellent points. I'd add the following questions as well:

How many hours every week do you spend for just yourself?

Do you feel guilty when you take time for yourself?

If you aren’t accomplishing anything measurable, is time wasted?

We sometimes forget that when we're not being of service to ourselves, we can't be of much use to anyone else.

7:30 AM  

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