Did you know that America is the 5th most workaholic country in the world? This was the result of a study back in 2011, where it was revealed that only 57 percent of people use all their vacation days. This number is probably lower by this time.
Workaholism, however, is not limited to those who hold desk jobs. In fact, workaholism might be a bigger problem for freelancers. Since we are responsible for all our work, accountable only to ourselves (and our clients), there is always work to be done. Sometimes, it is difficult to delineate “real life” from work.
There are even freelancers who seem to be proud that they work longer hours than most. Should you be proud to be one of those?
While being proud of being a workaholic may seem a good thing – you’re a hard worker, you’re responsible, etc., working too much can destroy you in more ways than one.
Do Not Be a Workaholic!
It hurts your relationships.
I could have inserted “probably” in there, but surveys have shown that marriages with at least one workaholic partner are 40 percent more likely to end in divorce. If work is your life, before you know what hit you, you might find yourself needing a divorce lawyer!
Even if you don’t end up facing divorce, being “married” to your work will alienate you from your partner, friends, and other family members. When you find yourself thinking about and prioritizing work all the time, ask yourself this: “Is it worth it?”.
It negatively affects your health.
In Japan, there is such a thing called karoshi, which literally means death from overwork. If this happens in Japan, where many people take only five days of vacation a year, it could very well happen to you if you constantly take on more clients and just keep working like the Energizer bunny – and also die at some point when the energy runs out.
Following a more moderate mode of thinking, overworking can still affect your health negatively. Stress increases your blood pressure, gives you headaches, and gives rise to other health issues. If you work long hours, you might not get enough sleep. The list goes on and on…
It negatively affects your work.
You think being a workaholic is an achievement? You think it’s something to be proud of? It might be glorified in many circles, but if you take a close look – a really close look – at the quality of the work you are doing, can you honestly say that everything that you write, edit, and publish shows just how good you are? Can you unequivocally say that you are proud of everything that you’ve written?
You might be the best writer you know, but if you’ve worked long hours for as long as you can remember, the quality of your articles, blog posts, white papers, or whatever you’re writing is probably suffering. Be honest with yourself.
Everyone needs a break.
Bottom line: we’re not machines. Humans that we are, we need a break.
Robots may have replaced humans in certain sectors, but artificial intelligence has not reached the point wherein robots can replace writers. (We can only hope that we won’t be replaced that way!)
Being a hard worker is great. Being a workaholic is something else.
Why not take time to analyze your situation and find out “what you are”? You’ll be doing yourself a favor.