Working has always been necessary. Nowadays, with the bad state of the economy and the constant—even dire—need for more resources, working and earning money are more important than ever. But what, exactly, does it mean to be a workaholic? Is it just a constant need for money, or something else? It is described by some as a medical condition. The mental state of a person who has become so obsessed with their work that they formed a kind of symbiosis with their workplace and the things they do. So how do you know if you’re a workaholic? Well, these are the seven most common symptoms.

1. When you arrive first in the office and you’re the last to leave.

You may think it’s easier to work when there’s nobody else in the office but that’s just an excuse. An excuse for being overly obsessed with your work.

2. You don’t take breaks.

Working in your lunch hour is not something you should be proud of. Statistics show that working without taking a break at regular intervals makes you less productive. Medical doctors advise you take a break from working in an office environment at least once every two hours. Otherwise, you risk your health, eyes and posture.

3. You get easily stressed when you’re not working.

There are people who consider it a good thing when they are stressed at work. That’s because stress and deadlines can increase the level of motivation and help you get the job done. But when you’re on a vacation or on your break and you feel stressed for no apparent reason, it’s not a good sign. Take it down a notch—enjoy your free time.

4. You just can’t get that thing right.

Being a perfectionist is definitely not something bad, but sometimes you have to take things easier and realize nobody can be perfect. Not even you. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.

5. You put your personal life in the background.

Unfortunately, this affects not only you and your family, but your colleagues as well. You start treating them poorly and this will get you nowhere in your relationships with others.

6. You put your health in the background.

This is even worse than the previous point. You think reporting for duty even when you’re sick will get you somewhere? Well, think again. Your productivity will be almost zero and your health condition will deteriorate; you may even end up not going to work for several weeks.

7. You stop feeling well.

Much like alcohol abuse, ‘work abuse’ affects our bodies. In time a simple nausea can develop into a chronic headache, or constant fatigue.

How do you deal with workaholic behavior?

Even though workaholism is considered something harmless and many people think that it can actually be valuable for their company, in time it becomes a disadvantage. That’s because of the drop in productivity, the fatigue and the moody feelings it causes.

This of course has to be dealt with. And the the first step you must take if you want to break through your workaholic tendencies is realizing you actually have a problem and admitting it. After that, there are many ways you can go, from therapy to visiting anonymous support groups. This does, however, sound a bit scary for most people, so there is a more immediate solution to this problem, and it’s really simple: a hobby.

Yes, many therapists say finding a hobby is the best way to take your mind off things. Whether it be sports, video games or any other activity outside of your work, it will help you handle your workaholic issues and resolve them. Remember, workaholism can be a reason for depression and physical and mental weariness, and if not addressed fast, it can grow into a permanent state.

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