Share it

The Dark Side of Productivity: Kick the Workaholism Habit

Productivity is one word you’ll always hear in and around the office. But do you know that excessively long hours and rigorous work schedules do not necessarily translate to increased productivity?

In fact, experts believe that workaholism will instead cause a drop in the quality of the results you achieve at work. So, why do many business owners and employees wear their workaholism like a badge of honor?

Most people do not easily recognize when they have fallen down the rabbit role of workaholism during their quests for promotions, raises, or business success. In other cases, they simply do not know how to break free from this addiction.

Either way, we can help! This article shares insights to help you get rid of workaholism and hustle more efficiently.

What Is Workaholism?

Workaholism has flown under the radar for too long, unlike several other mental health conditions. Thankfully, the narrative is quickly changing as more working professionals become acquainted with the dangers of workaholism.

A workaholic is a person who works excessively and finds it very challenging (if not impossible) to detach themselves from their professional obligations. In other words, a workaholic is compulsively unable to limit their working hours despite experiencing negative consequences in their health and relationships with loved ones.

For instance, you may be suffering from workaholism if you’re always working during breaks, never take vacations, and have no hobbies outside your job.

However, you should note that not every hardworking employee or business owner is a workaholic. Here are some character traits that do not make you a workaholic:

1. Being a Diligent Employee

Working hard is a necessary and commendable trait in any professional, whether it’s an employee or an employer. Therefore, putting your best foot forward and being proactive at work every day does not make you a workaholic.

2. Having Strong Work Principles 

Setting a high job performance standard for yourself does not mean you suffer from workaholism. Instead, it just means you hold yourself to a well-defined and strong work ethic.

For instance, if you never mix work hours and break time, value excellence, and are always devoted to the success of your projects, you likely have a solid work ethic. 

3. Working Overtime

Now, this is where you need to be careful. 

Almost everyone has needed to work overtime to complete a project. This does not necessarily make you a workaholic. If anything, it means you’re a committed worker.

However, you may struggle with workaholism if you work overtime too frequently without a justifiable cause.

4. Being Passionate About Your Work

You’re not necessarily a workaholic if you’re usually enthusiastic and motivated. On the contrary, it only means you love your job and are passionate about what you do.

So, what are the signs of workaholism? Here are some:

  • Coming into the office first and leaving last every day
  • Not having any hobbies or recreational activities beyond work 
  • Not taking lunch breaks every day because there is so much to do
  • Refusing to sleep or rest because of work
  • Taking work home every day
  • Refusing to go on vacations or take days off
  • Not spending time with family and friends on account of work
  • Going into the office when you’re ill  
  • Experiencing stress symptoms when you’re not at work

If the above description matches your attitude, this next section is for you.

5 Tips to Help You Break Free from Workaholism

Source: freepik

Creating a healthier work-life balance will mean you enjoy your work more and spend more time with your loved ones. However, it also means you can avoid several health problems, such as:

  • Higher stress and burnout rates
  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Anger
  • Headaches
  • Excessive fatigue

That said, here’s how to kick workaholism:

Source: freepik

  1. Accept That You Need Help

The most critical step to breaking free from workaholism is admitting that there is an issue with the way you work. In other words, stop making excuses to justify your unhealthy work habits and unavailability when your loved ones need you.

  1. Figure Out Why You Turned to Workaholism

Solving a problem may be impossible without completely understanding it exists. Therefore, if you want to get rid of your workaholism, you need to figure out how you got there.

Were you trying to get a promotion, and then you just couldn’t stop? Perhaps the slippery slope of trying to grow your business has led you to workaholism.

Whatever the case may be, you need to identify the reasons behind it.

  1. Set Your Plans

Next, you’ll want to put some structure in place to ensure you don’t go back to your old ways. This means setting rules to help you maintain a healthy balance between your job and the rest of your life.

Make sure these rules are realistic and practical. Otherwise, you may frustrate yourself if you move too fast.

Here are some tips to help you:

  • Create a schedule for your daily workflow, and keep it practical.
  • Make sure to add breaks and rest times to your daily schedule.
  • Assign tasks to your schedule based on your most productive hours. Ideally, the most demanding tasks should come up when you’re at your peak productivity. Consider using calendar apps for this.
  • Pick up a hobby or recreational activity you can look forward to after work.
  • Prioritize spending more time with your family and friends.
  • Let your virtual assistant handle some less-critical tasks to reduce your workload.
  • Implement a technique called time blocking.
  • Have an accountability partner who ensures you follow your work structure and maintain healthy work habits.
  1. Reach Out to a Professional

If you find it too challenging to stick to the structure and plans you’ve created, we recommend talking to a mental health professional. Otherwise, you may find yourself slipping back into your workaholic ways before you know it.

Bonus Tip

Leveraging technology is an excellent way to reduce work hours while boosting productivity. Look into ways to use various tech tools and applications to improve your efficiency.

For instance, email account management can be much more convenient and quicker if you use the right system. Check out a few useful competitors of Outlook you can explore.

Bringing It Together 

While workaholism does not sound very dangerous, it does have several real and negative consequences. Therefore, it is best to do everything you can to kick the habit as soon as you notice it (or when your friends point it out).

We hope this article has given insight into some of the signs of workaholism and how to break free from the cycle. 

Remember, being a workaholic does not benefit anybody — not you, not your boss, not your loved ones, and certainly not your work.


Roman Shvydun writes informative articles about marketing, business, productivity, workplace culture, etc. His content focuses on balancing information with SEO needs, but never at the expense of providing an entertaining read. See a few more examples of Roman’s articles by visiting his Twitter.

Share it


Related Posts


Don't miss out on your next career move. Work with Apollo Technical and we'll keep you in the loop about the best IT and engineering jobs out there — and we'll keep it between us.


Engineering and IT recruiting are competitive. It's easy to miss out on top talent to get crucial projects done. Work with Apollo Technical and we'll bring the best IT and Engineering talent right to you.