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Workaholic? Can You Be One Without Being Constantly Stressed

Posted February 16, 2013 by Marcy Twete in Life After Five

Workaholic. It’s a word loaded with innuendo. In one sentence it can be a compliment, like when your boss says, “We just love having Jen on our team. She’s a workaholic.” Moments later, it’s a painful insult when your best friend says, “I never see you! You’re a workaholic.” So while we strive for it and feel proud of it at times, it can be our demise as well.

How, then, can you balance the two sides of your brain — the one that wants to burn the midnight oil and the one that has a life? Try these tips to stay your workaholic self without going crazy.

  1. Separate moving the needle from threading it. When you’re at work after 6pm, what are you doing? Are you “catching up” on things like email and paperwork? That’s threading the needle. Moving the needle is substantive. It’s influential to your business and your team’s success. Only stay late if you’re moving the needle. If you need to be threading it, don’t give it up. But go home. Do it there\
  2. Don’t try to justify your choices to others. True workaholics spend an incredible amount of time (and work) trying to explain to friends and family why they work long hours and their jobs are so important to them. Stop! The stress of those justifications is making you miserable.
  3. Take lunch. It may seem so simple, but it will save the stress level of a workaholic incredibly. Even if you only leave long enough to buy and eat a sandwich and eat it, you’re giving your eyes and your brain a break. That matters!

So go ahead, Career Girls, be a workaholic if you want to be, but don’t let it make you crazy.

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."