Education & Career

What does it mean to be a Workaholic?

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In this competitive world, most workaholics are viewed as procrastinators and opportunities start to diminish in front of those who are. HR professional Preeyan tells us about workaholics, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.

No one wants to be called a workaholic. If you ask one, they will say that their work is their passion. It is more of a psychological condition that is mostly associated as with hereditary issue and passed on from generations. I would like to address my workaholic readers to realise where they need to draw the line and how they can overcome this problem.

Initially, we all start the same way. We get to work and work most times overwhelms us. It is how we deal with it that makes us different. We may undertake a lot of seminars and workshops to help us in prioritising, delegation, allocation, time management and all the other corporate jargons that hover around us day in and day out. At the end of the day, it is for us to complete our tasks assigned to us and move on.

The most common traits I have studied about my workaholic friends are

  1. Troubled personal life.
  2. Feeling of inferiority.
  3. Obsessive compulsion.
  4. Inability to socialise.
  5. Procrastination.

And the list can go on but these are the key few.

Everyone goes through some personal trouble at any given point in time. It is important for one to realise that they have a problem and they need to deal with it head on.  Bottling up of emotions can make one irritable and this will also drive them to look for avenues to relieve themselves and that relief they may find at work. The best way to deal with this is by acceptance, push it to a conclusion and this may sometimes seek professional help. The sooner you realise this the better. I don’t want to spell out typical issues, but what I want to mention is that all personal issues can be sorted by having a meaningful conversation or dialogue. Sometimes all it takes is introspection into details of the issue. A third persons point of view is always helpful and if you can do that yourself then there is nothing better than that.

Inferiority complex is common and always restrains one from opening up in front of a crowd. This will make them silent, not very vocal about their ideas and thoughts they may have. This can happen because of years of listening to ridicule about themselves, for some, it is just because of thinking too much. Physical disabilities can be a reason for this because no one wants people to feel sorry for them. These are people who need a lot of encouragement, if we do not support them in their endeavours we would only be pushing these people into their shell. We need to understand that though two humans are physically different the brain functions the same and intellectually no one is different. It is only the way one fine-tunes the brain that they display a difference in intellect. The power of the human brain is such that, if we make up our mind on doing something we can and will accomplish the toughest of tasks. Being with people, participation in discussions, external encouragement etc can play a vital role to help these friends of ours. Their workaholic routine may change and we would have helped them discover themselves.

Most of us suffer from obsession towards various things. When we start something, we are usually reluctant and pessimistic, when we start feeling the momentum, we start becoming excited and this excitement will lead to an adrenaline rush which will lead to passion or obsession. The difference is hard to make out, one can be passionate and do anything they want but this turns to obsession when they move to a level of doing anything at any cost to get it done. Being passionate is when you fight hard and are very sportive when you lose or fail, but being obsessive is when you fight hard and don’t accept failure or try to learn from it, this leads to a very negative rush and you end up annoying people in the whole bargain because you do not care. Care here is what is most important for any person when we are doing something for ourselves, we also need to take care of the consequences.  Work gets on to them so much that they become obsessive and everything is a compulsion in their life.

Take a step back, take enough breaks, always have diversions and distractions to help you get over this. Focus your energy on more positive things that will help you relax. All we need to realise that we may not always be right and it is ok to take inputs from others once in a while.

We, humans, are social beings, we share our strengths to make our environment good for ourselves. Every so often we come across those who just cannot mingle with people and we choose to ignore them because there is a part of us which is scared to mingle. These people look like they are happy by themselves and are in a content, comfortable space within themselves, you may think that they are peaceful, but there will be a time when they will feel the need to have someone they want to share something with, be it happiness or sadness. They will crave for attention ever so often and realise that they are not getting the kind of attention they need. That will lead them to become annoying attention seeking people or become highly depressing people. This is when work becomes that escape route for most of them. They end up putting in so much effort and try to hide behind their desks imagining they have so much to do. They need to ensure that they have a social circle other than family. Having friends and socialising with them will help them get over such problems. This has to be a conscious effort and not something that someone else can force them into.

There is one thing that is common with most of us, which is the period where we waste time thinking “I don’t have time” or “I can’t do this” or “I am scared to make a choice” and the examples are countless. This is procrastination, and a lot of workaholics have this problem. It is because of this that they are forced to put in more time at work and it is because of this that they have so little time for anything else. This can be exhausting and can lead to crash out or burn out very fast.

In this competitive world, most workaholics are viewed as procrastinators and opportunities start to diminish in front of those who are. It is good to start timing yourself for each task and work towards making it better every time you do it. Start thinking differently and discuss with people so that you get different points of view. Think of solutions to a problem and don’t waste time worrying about it.

What I have said here is just a point of view I have, I may not have hit the mark, but I hope you may realise that all of us have some quality like this that we share. Let’s introspect and let’s make things better for ourselves.

 Be positive and be smart.


©Preeyan Abraham

Photos from the Internet

#Workaholic #Procrastination #Burnout #WorkEthics #JobsAndCareers #TimeManagement #DifferentTruths

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