woman addicted to work

Are you addicted to your work? 

Here are seven tell-tale signs you just might be more hooked on your work than you realised.

7 Signs you’re addicted to your work:

You don’t take breaks from work even when you can see it’s affecting your relationships

You think it’s fine to check email on holiday because “they need me”

You think it’s fine to work any hour of the day or night because “I love what I do”

You believe no one else could possibly do your job as well as you 

You forget birthdays, anniversaries etc,  but never miss a work deadline 

You don’t have any hobbies 

All your friends are work friends, because they’re the only ones who “really get it”.

Work can be the ultimate addiction.  After all, we live in a culture that prioritises success and monetary gain. You can easily hide behind ‘needing’ to work and other people will accept that, in a way you just couldn’t do with other addictions.

Work addiction can happen when we get more positive feelings from being at work than we do anywhere else in our life. If you get a lot of praise, feelings of pride and accomplishment, and joy from working, everything else can start to feel flat by comparison.

Ready to change? Here’s the steps you’ll need to take.

If you’d like to have more balance in your life, here’s what you can do:

  1. Get good at praising yourself, so you internalise getting positive feedback and don’t rely so heavily on work situations for feeling good.
  2. Start praising yourself for all the non-work things you do, like catching up with a friend, or being present with your partner instead of working at night.
  3. Decide who you want to be, outside of work. Do you want to be known as funny, genuine, optimistic? Take some time to learn about what your values are, to help you make this decision (you can learn more about values in my book, The Slow Life Project).
  4. Start living life according to who you ARE, rather than focussing on what you DO, and praise yourself when you’re able to do that.
  5. Add in hobbies that sound fun to you and will also give you an identity outside of work.

No amount of turning off notifications, or knowing what you ‘should’ do to set boundaries around work, will be effective unless you also have a fun life outside of work to get positive feelings from. Work on the inner stuff, and you’ll easily be able to change the outer bad habits.

Lana Hall

Author of The Slow Life Project. I am a woman on a mission to empower other women to live a meaningful, authentic and joyous life with full confidence.