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10 Signs You Are A Workaholic But Not A High Performer

10 Signs You Are A Workaholic But Not A High Performer

According to “Psychology Today”, the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime. That’s a lot of meeting for meetings to schedule your next meeting. I feel your pain too.

The truth is, we will spend A LOT of time at work. And unfortunately, not all companies have the culture or progressive mindset to create work-life balance within the workplace. According to the Quality of Working Life Report, 25% of employees say work is their main source of stress and 40% say their job is “very or extremely stressful.”

But the key here is to not wait for your company to create balance in your work life. Instead, you have the opportunity to take charge!

Because we all know stress + unhappiness + workaholic tendencies = low performer.

Don’t let this happen to you! Here are 10 signs you are a workaholic but not a high performer.

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1. You chase feverishly after nothing.

One of the most common signs you are a workaholic but not a high performer is that you work like a dog — long days, long weeks, long projects that seemingly focus on nothing tangible. It’s like watching a dog chase their tail.

High performing people are goal oriented, while workaholics are volume oriented. As in, “wow, look how much we accomplished” instead of “wow, look what we accomplished.”

As Henry David Thoreau put it, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

2. You never pull back on the throttle.

Go, go, go is your motto! Like life, energy is not infinite. However, workaholics will literally work themselves to exhaustion — and then try to work some more. High performers leverage awareness to know when to turn it up or down a notch.

3. You put everyone else’s needs before your own.

Don’t be a martyr. High performing people recognize and understand that it’s okay to put their needs in front of someone else from time to time because in doing so, they provide the best version of themselves.

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Workaholics, however, tend to be selfless in nature but in doing so often over-extend and create an unsustainable version of themselves.

4. You focus 100% of your energy on things you have absolutely no control over.

At the end of the day, time is really all we have in life. Unfortunately, workaholics will spend a majority of their time placing their energy into things they cannot control – income, outcomes, coworkers, etc.

High performers are naturally their own critical judges as they focus much of their time on their effort. They eat, breathe, and sleep the mantra “the best version of you.”

5. Your day is comprised of reacting to “things.”

When you walk into work every morning, do you go in with a game plan and build your day around the most important tasks, or do you let others dictate how your day will go? If it’s the latter, then you might be a workaholic. High performing people are the drivers of their schedule, workaholics sit shotgun.

Tony Robbins was once famously quoted asking the question, “How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I am committed to?”

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Perhaps you should ask yourself this question too.

6. You allow others to determine your worth.

This is a tricky one, especially for Millennials. Workaholics crave external validation – supervisors, colleagues, and friends. They just want some praise! Unfortunately this is a very similar characteristic of Millennials, as many were raised during the “and you get a trophy for breathing” era.

High performers, on the other hand, recognize their own self-worth and thus create feedback loops to continue to develop and grow professionally. Again, being proactive instead of reactive.

As the great Walt Disney said, “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”

7. You constantly find yourself unhappy with your results, even after obtaining a goal.

If you use the word “enough” in a negative connotation in your work life, you are probably a workaholic. This isn’t good enough, I am not good enough, and there isn’t enough time in the day – enough, enough, enough…enough!

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High performing people value and recognize the margin needed for success regardless of whether it’s a little or a lot.

8. You become judgmental of your colleague’s work ethic.

Workaholics obviously put in a lot of extra hours at work “to get the job done.” However, in doing so, many often become judgmental of their counterparts, as they focus on quantity and not quality.

A high performer’s number one goal is to do business – and recognize that business will come in waves. A workaholic’s number one goal is to be busy, and if they feel other people aren’t “busy,” then they aren’t putting in maximum effort.

9. You eat every meal at your desk.

The key is to work smarter, not harder. Workaholics tend to believe harder is smarter, and because of that they don’t see the value in intermittent periods of renewal in their days. High performers know the value of taking time for themselves throughout the day, especially when it comes to replenishing energy stores.

10. You work all the time and hardly ever get promoted.

When it came to your last review time, were you passed up on a promotion? Did your supervisor use phrases like “you definitely worked a lot” or “you get a lot done,” but then struggled to pinpoint specific, impactful achievements of yours?

If this sounds like your last review, then you may be a workaholic too. High performers will frequently get promoted – not only because of what they did, but what they can do moving forward. And you can’t be visionary and talk about what you “can do” if you are stuck in the weeds all of the time.

More by this author

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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