As technology has changed over the past couple of decades, so too has the nature of our relationship with our work. Not only has technology changed the way we do business, but it has changed the way we interact with our jobs. Not long ago, it was the norm in professional fields to leave the job in the workplace and out of the home. Before cell phones, texting, social media, email, and vast wirelessly connected networks, it was unlikely you’d receive calls from your boss or additional work drop-offs while off the clock.
But now, with the explosion in social technology, our jobs are just a mouse click, button press, or finger swipe away. In some ways, it can be argued, 24/7 access to work has made many of us more productive and vital members of our workplace teams. But for many others, it has worsened a condition already present, in some form or another, which can ruin relationships, negatively affect physical and mental health, and otherwise lead to a miserable existence—work addiction.
When it comes to identifying the general traits of the classic “workaholic,” the folks at Workaholics-anonymous.org have created an extensive list of questions designed to help you reflect on yourself and the relationship you have with your work relative to competing aspects of your life (e.g. family, friends, and recreational time). The list can work as an aid in developing a more even work/life balance by identifying how your work is interfering with the other important relationships in your life. A general rule of thumb is that if you answer affirmatively to three or more of the following 20 questions, it is likely you have some degree of work addiction, in which case you can receive useful resources from Workaholics Anonymous or from a host of other digital and physical treatment aids to help you live a more balanced, healthy, and enjoyable life.
So, without further adieu, you might be a workaholic if you answer yes to the following:
1. Do you get more excited about your work than about family or anything else?
2. Are there times when you can charge through your work and other times when you can’t?
3. Do you take work with you to bed? Work on weekends? On vacation?
4. Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most?
5. Do you work more than 40 hours a week?
6. Do you turn your hobbies into money-making ventures?
7. Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts?
8. Have your family or friends give up expecting you on time?
9. Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won’t otherwise get done?
10. Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?
11. Do you believe that it is OK to work long hours if you love what you’re doing?
12. Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
13. Are you afraid that if you don’t work hard you will lose your job or be a failure?
14. Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?
15. Do you do things energetically and competitively, including play?
16. Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else?
17. Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?
18. Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?
19. Do you work or read during meals?
20. Do you believe that more money will solve the other problems in your life?