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Tory Johnson

Tory Johnson

Founder & CEO of Women for Hire

Career-savvy expert Tory Johnson is the founder and CEO of Women For Hire, which is the only producer of high caliber recruiting events for women. Johnson is the Workplace Contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America, where she reaches millions of viewers on a wide range of job-related issues and challenges. She is the anchor of Home Work on ABC News Now, the digital channel.

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You Might Be a Workaholic If...

Some Signs You Might Need to Pull Back on Work

It's a frequently asked question: Do we live to work, or work to live?

A growing number of Americans are finding that they live for work, and some of them are popping up at Workaholics Anonymous meetings nationwide.

Unlike people who simply work very hard, which quite frankly is most of us, workaholics never punch out. They always feel like they are on the clock, 24/7, physically, mentally and emotionally working.

They are more genuinely enthusiastic about work than anything else in their lives, even family and friends. There's nothing that person would rather be doing than working.

And we're not just talking about Fortune 500 executives; nurses and construction workers, among others, attend Workaholics Anonymous meetings to try to kick the habit.

Solutions to Kick the Habit

Like any addiction, it's challenging to kick and the person needs a support system to help. First, a workaholic must recognize and admit the problem.

Take this quick personal survey: Ask yourself, on a scale of one to five - five being truly satisfied - how you'd rate your satisfaction and happiness in each of these key areas of your personal life: Your family? Your friendships? Your health? Your hobbies? Your spirituality?

If your total is not 12 or more points, you have to take a hard look at yourself. It's probably time to reconsider your priorities and to replace some of your work time with life time.

On its Web site, Workaholics Anonymous suggests 20 questions to ask yourself to determine whether you may be a workaholic. Among them:

  • Do you take work with you to bed, on weekends and/or on vacation?

  • Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most?

  • Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time?

  • Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?

  • Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?

  • Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?

Answering yes to one or two might not be the sign of an addiction, but a pattern of yes to three or more of these questions might mean it's time to make changes. But of course, with all addiction, making those changes is easier said than done.

Make time to relax. Since workaholics are so detail oriented and focused, they should schedule time off to relax and play. Use this time to find new ways to find happiness and approval and satisfaction outside of work. Look for other benchmarks to measure your overall well-being such as achieving fulfilling personal relationships -- being a terrific, reliable partner, parent, and/or friend -- or even trying a new hobby that offers a complete diversion from work.

Learn to delegate. Recognize that none of us can be successful or productive at work on our own. This is hard for these perfectionists, so they can start small, such as sharing small tasks with co-workers to start whether it's folding shirts in a retail store or managing the office staff. Slowly, the workaholic can see that he or she can begin to let go and still get the job done.

Additional resources:

"Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them," by therapist Bryan Robinson

Workaholics Anonymous Web site: www.workaholics-anonymous.org

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  Tory Johnson: You Might Be a Workaholic If...
Unlike people who simply work very hard, which quite frankly is most of us, workaholics never punch out. They always feel like they are on the clock, 24/7, physically, mentally and emotionally working.

view more