8 Subtle Signs You’re More of a Workaholic Than You Think

Enjoying your job is one thing, but here are some undeniable warning signs that you might be taking your work a little too far.

You’re the first one in and the last one out of the office


Although you may like to spend early mornings plowing through work before the mad rush of meetings, and the evenings might provide a quiet time to organize tasks for tomorrow, doing both too often could be a sign that you’re a workaholic. Working excessively will make you tired, sick, and burned out. Plus, studies show that long hours don’t necessarily mean productive hours. In the 1990s, Ford Motor Company released research showing that for every additional 20 hours of work above the recommended 40 hours, productivity increased for only three or four weeks before it became negative. Keeping a healthy work-life balance means clocking out after your eight hours end. These are signs you’re more stressed than you realize.

You can’t log out


Vacation days exist for a reason: so you can take a vacation. If you are stressing about an impending deadline while lounging on the beach, or trying to fit in a work calls from the ski slopes, you might have a problem. When you leave the office, try to turn off all work devices; keep them away somewhere safe and inaccessible. Some experts even suggest limiting your email checks to three times a day, max: once when you first arrive in the office, once after lunch, and one more time before you leave. Becoming too preoccupied with work will make you forget to be in the present moment.

You don’t take care of your body


Constantly feeling ill? You might be working too much. Research shows that workaholics are at higher risk for a number of physical and psychological disorders, including type 2 diabetes, heart attacks, depression, and anxiety. Workaholics also have higher burnout rates and truncated career trajectories, Bryan E. Robinson, a psychotherapist and author of Chained to the Desk, tells U.S. News. Working while you’re sick could mean making a mistake or losing productive working hours, so try to avoid grabbing fast food for a quick lunch or skipping the gym because you decided to stay late at the office. Your body will thank you for the extra care, and so will your boss. Don’t miss these clear signs you’re getting sick.

Your feelings of self-worth are completely tied to your work success

iStock/Steve Debenport

It’s okay to celebrate your wins in the workplace, but depending on them for your happiness is a problem. “A workaholic relies on external validation from their boss, colleagues, and clients,” writes Jullien Gordon, author of The 8 Cylinders of Success: How to Align Your Personal and Professional Purpose, in a LinkedIn blog post. “They wait for external evaluations such as mid-year or annual reviews done by others to understand how well they are doing.” It’s important to find things outside of work that make you feel successful too, like a recreational softball league or a weekly book club.

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