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How Can We Strike the Right Balance to Beat Our Addiction to Work?

In a world of overwhelming distractions, long, stressful workdays and the never-finished race to get it all done, humans respond in the wrong way by disconnecting.


Do you work through lunch? Check email while on vacation?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you might be a workaholic.

As a pioneer in this field Barbara Killinger, Ph.D., author and clinical psychologist in Toronto specialized in workaholism, defines a workaholic as a work-obsessed individual who gradually becomes emotionally crippled and addicted to power and control in a compulsive drive to gain approval and public recognition of success.

Obviously people does not have to have a paid job. Many perfectionistic homemakers and students suffer from this serious affliction.

But what is the difference between a hard worker and a workaholic?

This is a frequently asked question. A hard worker who is emotionally present for all family members, co-workers and friends, and who manages to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal responsibility is not a workaholic.

Workaholics, in contrast, lack this wisdom. They are obsessed with their work performance and hooked on an adrenalin-high. Bent on self-aggrandizement, these ego-driven folks reach one goal, and immediately set another more ambitious one. Staying at the same level of accomplishment is considered a failure.

Today technology exacerbates those aspects and continues to morph and make all of us so available. So we find it harder to disconnect from work, allowing our professional pursuits to creep into our Saturdays and beyond.

For this fact it’s extremaly important maintaining a good balance between taking care of our personal needs and delivering the goods at work and that’s the key for our long-term satisfaction.

But how can we strike the right balance?

Work-life balance expert, Mary LoVerde, says: “The first thing is to admit that you’re spending too many hours at work. Secondly you need to look at whether or not you really accomplish less if you leave work an hour earlier, and research tells us that there’s no significant difference when this happens. The question we’re always asking ourselves is ‘What do I need to do?’ That’s the workaholic’s mantra. I think a better question to ask is ‘What do I need to quit?’ Do I need to quit thinking that I get all of my rewards at work and start looking at other parts of my life? Do I need to quit having that Monday morning meeting where nobody gets anything done anyway because they’re all so tired?”

Your body and your emotions are a great feedback system. If you’re sleeping well, if you love your job, if you’re productive and if you have great relationships, you’ve got work-life balance. If you don’t, your body will talk to you, your relationships start to deteriorate and you’ll stop feeling like yourself. That’s when you know you’re out of balance.

Connection is what creates balance. Connection with your family, friends, colleagues, clients, your community, your God. CONNECTION IS THE KEY ! The fundamental work-life balance truth is that.

When you become disconnected from those things because you’re working so hard, it prevents you from ever getting a sense of wellbeing.

Humans THRIVE when they feel CONNECTED.

They’re better leaders, managers, employees, partners and parents. They’re more productive, creative, involved and profitable.

Every business metric improves when people THRIVE.

Originally published at medium.com

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