Main Differences Between Workaholic And Hard Worker


Difference between workaholic and hard worker

Probably, everyone has heard about workaholics – people who are so obsessed with their job routine that they can’t relax for a second. They work for 12 hours (or more!) per day, constantly check the mail and answer phone calls, and bring their work home. And, although workaholic approach is considered an addiction, looks like this addiction is approved countrywide. Unlike the other addicts, workaholics are often seen as hard-working personalities and even have a good reputation at the office.

However, although hard, productive work and workaholism look very much alike, they are totally different by nature. Jullien Gordon states that the main difference is about how the person feels on the inside. 'A hard worker works in a healthy way and feels inspired, while a workaholic works hard in unhealthy ways and feels burnt out and unhappy', he says. 

It’s crucially important to test yourself and find out whether you are a productive worker or a workaholic. Not only workaholism ruins your health, your relationships with friends and family in the long run, but also it reflects negatively on the company’s success. Workaholics find it too hard to switch off and try some other activity except for their job. As a result, they don’t rest enough and often suffer from physical or mental health issues.

Here are few more hints to differentiate healthy productivity from workaholism:

  1. Workaholics put work above all
    A healthy focus on your responsibilities and desire to excel at what you do are valued high by management. However, there are various cases when a hard worker can’t show up at work. When family matters, health issues or other circumstances need the attention, a good worker distracts from work and focus on other areas of his life. The problem with workaholics is that they can’t act like this – they’ll head to the office even when they’re sick and will ignore important family events to focus on work, even when it’s not that necessary.
  2. Workaholics can’t distract from work states that hard workers ‘play just as hard as they work’. A hard worker switches off his phone to spend quality time with family and friends or have a good sleep. On the contrary, workaholics seem to be physically attached to everything related to their job – they often work at home, constantly check the inbox and feel daunted when they’re forced to spend a day or two away from their laptop. By the way, due to this reason workaholics barely ever go on vacations as they feel miserable when deprived of work-related attributes.
  3. Workaholics don’t know where to stop
    High-performing specialists are always focused at reaching certain results. As soon as the positive result is achieved, they stop working at this task/project etc. and switch to any other activity. However, things don’t work this way with workaholics. When the task is completed, they’ll keep reviewing, improving, and maximizing things as they don’t know when it’s enough. As a workaholic has little idea of what he wants to achieve, he’ll keep acting like a perfectionist until late evening. Maybe, that’s because they haven’t found their real calling yet?
  4. Workaholics can’t prioritize
    Although the work addicts spend much more time at the workplace than the hard-working individuals do, they are often less effective. Why? Just like a workaholic can’t maintain his work-life balance, he struggles to strategize his working time and prioritize the tasks. Moreover, BusinessInsider highlights that ‘high performers do business, while workaholics’ goal is to be busy’. As a result, while other employees complete most important tasks first and don’t allow the external distractions to consume their time, a workaholic gets easily distracted. They react to emails, last-minute meetings and other office distractions and are less focused on getting results. Thus, their employer doesn’t get much result from their spending days and nights at the office.
  5. Workaholics are less healthy and lack balance in life
    Hard workers often have a turbulent, active life outside of the office. As usual, they maintain strong social ties with friends and family, have a plenty of hobbies and interests and like to travel. Meanwhile, the workaholics spend a great deal of their time working, which doesn’t make their lifestyle balanced and healthy. Workaholics often suffer from mental and physical health issues, which, in its turn, make them less efficient workers in the long run. The progressive employers are aware of consequences of workaholism and would rather hire a socially active person who lives balanced life and has interests outside of work.

Do you have signs of work addiction? Here are the 5 tips to beat workaholism

Workaholics are usually putting in extra hours without job satisfaction. Here’s how to change the situation and enjoy your work again:

Understand the real reason why you work hard

As a rule, high performers with work addiction have the underlying reason why they spend days and nights in the office. The real reasons are anxiety, low self-esteem, a desire for approval or an attempt to hide from family problems. Until you realize the reason why you’re addicted to work, you won’t cope with this addiction and will keep working long hours.

Set the boundaries between work and time off

Workaholics barely have free time as such people think about work every minute. So, you need to schedule time off work when you turn off the phone, don’t check emails and don’t read contracts. You can be passionate about hard work in the office, but once you’re out, physically distract yourself from work.

You might feel lost and bored at first, but soon you’ll get used to a new schedule, find new things you like and start to enjoy time off.

Focus on your personal life

It’s common for a workaholic to have poor family life or personal lives. Working harder for a company won’t replace your family and friends. It’s high time that you changed the situation. Instead of scheduling more hours at work and getting stressed, plan interesting activities with your loved ones for the week end.

Spend more time with people, talk about your problems, and over time, you’ll get less addicted to work.

Take care of your health and well-being

Quite often, workaholics suffer from physical conditions or some other addiction. That’s why it’s important to take care of your physical health. Limit alcoholic drinks, cigarettes and coffee. Exercise every day (even if it’s 15 minutes), spend more time out and drink plenty of water. Focus on health will bring you more awareness and energy to beat stress and depression.

Use your vacation days

Why not take a pause and take some time off away from the team of employees and the need to accomplish a new goal at work? A good vacation can make a difference in your physical and mental health and give you an improved sense of well-being.

And if after a vacation you decide to look for a new job, you needn’t get stressed about this either. Our expert writer can prepare a professional resume for you at quite a low cost.

Do you think you might be a workaholic?

If you’ve checked the above clues and discovered a few signs of workaholism, it’s time to overlook your unhealthy addiction to work. Give yourself short breaks even during the busiest days. Don’t bring your work home – most of the task can wait for tomorrow. And, if you work so hard because you feel that your contribution isn’t valued by management and coworkers, maybe, it’s time to update your resume and seek for other career opportunities?

Our resume professionals will gladly assist with any type of resume, from a student’s to a CEO’s. A new resume will effectively highlight your achievements and help you find your dream job faster.

Have you ever felt addicted to your work? How did you manage it?

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