Do you have these workaholic symptoms?

My name is Joanne and I’m a workaholic.

Are you working too hard or spending late hours at the office? Have others accused you of working too much?  Here are some symptoms that showed me I had an addiction to work. Some of these were pretty daunting to admit.

workaholic symptoms, signs of a workaholic, working too hard, working too muchSymptom 1: You set unreasonable goals for yourself

I had a tendency to take on more work than I could handle and set deadlines that were impossible to meet. Why? Because I believed if I wasn’t striving for the impossible, I wasn’t achieving greatness.

Do you set unreasonable standards for yourself, and then beat yourself up when you don’t meet up to those standards? Consider that a workaholic symptom. It’ll cause you to stress out and overwork yourself trying to achieve the impossible. That’s a huge trap for disappointment.

Symptom 2: You never get a sense of fulfillment from your work

The reason I kept setting unreasonable goals for myself was because I was never satisfied. You’d think that achieving a major goal would bring satisfaction, but for me it never did.

So I just kept setting more and more unreasonable expectations and working harder and harder to achieve them. It wasn’t long before I got burned out. Not only was I drained, but I was still unfulfilled. Does any of this sound familiar to you? That could be a sign of being a workaholic.

Symptom 3: You have a hard time delegating work to others

Up until my current position, I was used to being a one-woman-show. In my previous roles, I was a marketer, copywriter, designer, project manager and project executor – all in one. So when I joined a large team where there was a different person to fill every role and my job was just to manage them, it was a huge paradigm shift.

If you have a hard time delegating work to others and are often stuck in the mindset that you’re the only one who can do the job right, you might show signs of a workaholic… and maybe a bit of a control freak.

Symptom 4: You believe your identity is defined by your career

This is a touchy topic for me. I had a really hard time admitting to this workaholic symptom. I was working too much and working too hard that I associated my identity to my career. I believed that without my career, I was a nobody. This was very dangerous territory to be moping around in and a very obvious workaholic symptom.

Symptom 5: Work impacts your family life, personal time and overall health

There are only 24 hours in a day, and about 7 of those hours should be spent sleeping. Work should really only consume 8 hours. And the balance should be dedicated to your family life. But this wasn’t how my time was divided. It was:

  • Work
  • More work
  • Thinking about work
  • Then sleep
  • And then dreaming about work

Are you working too much that you don’t have time to spend with your family? Or perhaps you’re so overworked that you don’t have the energy to do anything else but work. If working too much is impacting your personal life and overall health, take that as a symptom you might be a workaholic.

Take a moment to read my post “Can we really do it all? What I’m learning about work life balance.”


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  1. Agree with ALL of these…but #3 is difficult to admit. I have the mind set that “If they would just get the freaking work done the way I asked for in the first place, I wouldn’t HAVE a problem $%&*ing delegating tasks to them!!!”

    1. I know, right?! I’m the same way. But Lyana, we just gotta let go. They’ll never learn if we don’t.

  2. If your list is accurate, I’m not a workaholic but I’m not far off! Perhaps I’m in denial or perhaps I’m borderline…? ;-0

    1. Denial is possible. I was in denial for years… sometimes I still am. 🙂

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