How To Tell If You've Got An Addiction To Work

Maybe it's time to switch off?

How To Tell If You've Got An Addiction To Work

I have an addiction. It's not healthy. I thought it was for a long time, but as time goes on I realise it's not.

I’m addicted to work.

I know this because I have an hour flight and instead of “wasting it” doing nothing - I’m writing this after a 15-hour day.  

I know I’m not alone. Thanks to social media and emails on phones - it makes the separation between work and life harder.

When my mother was my age she was either at work - or at home. When she went on holidays, she was on holidays and no one expected her to work. Nowadays that just isn’t the cause. Work is now omnipresent. Everyone is on a device - with work emails - we have become “available” 24/7. It’s this, that leads to anxiety, depression and burn out. The simple solution? Just turn off your phone or don’t answer work emails after hours. 

Ha. Imagine. 

I mean, look, you could - but it’s almost gotten to a point where that isn’t a thing anymore. Especially if you’re a millennial. 

It’s a dog eat dog competitive world - so if you wanna get ahead in your career this is what you do. You answer your work emails on toilets whilst at a wedding reception or birthday. 

It’s hard when you're passionate about what you do. When you really love what you do because it makes it easier to prioritise. 

It’s obviously different pending your age, job and where you are in your life of course. I know a lot of my friends (26-33) who are professionals in the media - and can simply not switch off - that’s just not an option. Especially if you have a job with a 24 news cycle and social media. It’s a part of the hustle now. I genuinely do worry for us. Because it’s no real way to live. 

I know this because I live like this and it’s exhausting but I don’t know how to rewire my brain.  

What a strange reality. One of my biggest issues is that I’m addicted to work. And I can’t figure out how to work less. 

Sidebar - Why can’t I be as addicted to exercise like I am work?

By now I’m sure you either relate to this or you don’t. If you don’t - I’m so jealous. 

But if you’re wondering whether or not you’re a workaholic here’s some red flags for ya:

  • You don't know HOW to switch off (when people say “just switch off” it’s so bloody frustrating).
  • You can’t wait for holidays to be over.
  • Your relationships suffer.
  • Lunch breaks are not a thing.
  • You have no hobbies.
  • You always want to be at work - you go there on weekends.
  • You hide work from people.
  • Your social life is non-existent.
  • You compromise your physical wellness.
  • You de-prioritise everything else.
  • If you’re without email or Wi-Fi it’s stress inducing.
  • You justify everything you’re doing.

So what do us workaholics do? 

Be aware of it and proceed regardless? 

Try and practice self care? 

Try to work less?  

For me? I don’t know. I really don’t. 

I think writing this has really made me realise that maybe I do have a bigger problem than I initially thought. 

I guess maybe, the first part of getting over an addiction is admitting you have one.  

And I admit. I have one. 

Tanya Hennessy hosts Weekend Breakfast across the Hit Network every Saturday and Sunday. Don't forget to pre-order her book Am I Doing This Right? before it hits stores on June 13.