Because most people are.
It happens all the time. When you’re playing with the kids. When you’re at the doctor. When all you want to do is fall asleep.
You can’t stop thinking about work.
Regardless of whether you hate your job, we’re a nation of workaholics. A recent survey from OnePoll, revealed the average employee works four hours a week without pay, and spends another four hours each week just thinking about their job. Forty-eight percent (48%) thought of themselves as modern-day workaholics, while 53% were stressed out as they took the survey!
In the study, researchers found three main symptoms of workaholism. Let’s dig in.
You Worry About Work on a Day Off
You don’t have to work today. You’re doing errands, spending time with family and friends, maybe even binge watching a few episodes of your favorite Netflix shows. But you can’t stop thinking about an upcoming deadline, a spat with a co-worker, or what your schedule is for next week.
Overthinking like that can be a difficult to stop. However, one way to cope involves making lists. Before you take a day off, write down everything you need to do in the coming week. Then, if you’re still stressed on your day off, refer to that list and journal about how you’re feeling. Getting all your work anxiety out onto the page can make it easier to relax and decompress.
Feeling Like You’re Too Busy to Take a Vacation
You have deadlines, responsibilities, maybe even employees who work under you. You might feel like you’re the only one capable of handling your responsibilities. And if you went on vacation, everything would fall apart.
You need to work with your manager to figure out a way to take a vacation. This isn’t just to keep you from burning out. A State University of New York study found that when men between the ages of 35 and 57, who were at risk for heart disease, didn’t take a week-long vacation every year, they were about 30% more likely to die of heart disease. Specialists note in an article with Fox News that a study done with women would show comparable results.
So for your health, take that vacation! If you’re worried about planning, schedule the vacation a few months in advance, and work with your manager and team to make sure all of your responsibilities are covered while you’re gone.
Checking Your Email Immediately After Waking Up
The OnePoll survey found that 58% of respondents check their phones right when they wake up. That means you start working as soon as you open your eyes.
Technology is great. But the omnipresence of smart phones and tablets means that we’re always accessible for a quick work phone call or text. This can be great for getting things done, but terrible for our mental health.
The only way to fix this problem is to unplug by turning your phone off. Try to schedule a weekend or even just an eight-hour period where you’re completely off the grid. Play board games with your family, hang out with your dog, or just sleep!
Are you a workaholic? If you are, how do you balance your life to cope? Tell us your story in the comments section below!