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In recent times, as modernization occurs and technology becomes fast-paced, most of us are moving more quickly to keep up with the advancements. However, to achieve the best and nothing less than that, we often forget that we too could become workaholics and neglect ourselves just to devote our time for work. Our passion could just become success and life would hold not much value in any other aspect. Thus, should being a workaholic be widely practiced? This article defines a workaholic and the effects of being one so that we in turn can consider our individual situations and make better decisions.

Definition of a Workaholic
Workaholics keep many irons in the fire and cannot understand the relationship between that behavior and a zero leisure time.  They are the first ones to reach office and last ones to leave. Workaholics generally, prefer to do most things by themselves rather than ask for help or designate someone else to do it.  If they have no choice but to assign a project to someone else, they get impatient when they have to wait.  They cannot understand why something takes so long to be accomplished.  Their definition of the term “too long” becomes “any time that’s not now.”

However, how do they become the way they are?

Reasons Behind Being a Workaholic
Poor time management and striving towards personal success within an organization could be two main reasons for the sudden passion to overwork. Many employees are driven to climb the ladder very quickly and often forget to slow down and take a steady pace to achieve a more permanent success.

Workaholics believe that “layering” helps them to maximize their productivity.  Thus,whatever work they are doing at that moment, they add an extra layer or two on that.  For example, eating a lunch and writing a memo at the same time, etc.  If a call is received during that time, it would actually lead to doing three things all at one time, or as they call it, multi-tasking. A sense of competition builds in them so that they are able to not only sustain but become ‘Champions’ in the rising pressure of the work environment and boost their own self-esteem, not forgetting a greater pay rise and accelerated promotions.

Time especially starts getting poorly managed when assignments are greatly taken on to grow faster. With lesser time on their hands, workaholics then to ‘crash’ it all at once, not balancing between work and rest. Leisure is hardly significant for them.

Effects of Being a Workaholic

Workaholics overly commit themselves to their job and live in constant frustration for biting off more than they can chew. They are unable to relax because they feel guilty when they are not working on something. This eventually results in much stress and anxiety. Being a workaholic does not in turn produce good signals to the mind and body as it can lead to isolation and then depression. It deterioratesthe health of a human being which could lead to various diseases in the future.
Since most of the time, things never seem to move or get done fast enough for them, they lose their temper frequently.

Research has shown that people on average spend 98% of their waking time in thinking about their past or the future and only 2 % live in the present.  A workaholic spends 99% of his time mentally planning and thinking about the future instead of relishing the now. Thus, only 1 % of the time is divided between the present and past reflections.

With little time spent with their loved ones, they tend to forget, ignore, or undermine birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, or other important social events.  Relationships hurt them much more and their people crave for their presence and understanding.

A little something to ponder about: Is it common to hear someone is his last days saying, “I wish I had spent more time in the office?”

Thus, is being a workaholic something to be greatly practiced? Or a change needs to be made for the good of the person, the organization, the people around him and society in general? Let us look forward to a better change for a healthier and robust generation for Singapore.


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Learning Objectives


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