Understanding Obsession with work

Is Your Work Obsession Ruining Your Life?

There are people in this world who believe that suffering is a prerequisite for reaching a higher level. Some whip themselves and wear sackcloths until they bleed, others isolate themselves from the world or fast, but there are also those who put in more hours than a watch at work . Unlike the rest of the sufferers, the latter have not yet gone out of style. Obsession with work creates serious problems precisely because it is not considered a problem and, on the contrary, is interpreted as a positive quality and an indication of commitment to the company.

The reality is quite different. The epic of hard work is the perfect excuse to justify mistakes and miss goals. Leaving your skin, having tried with all your might, is considered a mitigating factor in failure , but on second thought, maybe it should be an aggravating factor. If, after making a superhuman effort, a good result is not obtained, it is indicative of a fundamental failure. The epic of hard work disguises the failure as a hero and serves as a justification for the sacrifices of the successful. There is nothing that annoys a work freak more than to suggest that perhaps there was a less strenuous path to success.

Do You Have A Work Obsession

The problems of the crazy for work are varied. In general, these are people who go to work too quickly , which often means spending hours on a bad idea, obtaining suboptimal results or at a higher cost. Working a lot can also be a waste of time. Most obsessives lack focus and fire at anything that moves, typically acting as firefighters focused on the smokiest fires . Others pride themselves on being extremely focused, unaware that human attention has limits. Being able to focus on something specific is positive, but an excessive focus is nothing more than a pathological obsession and pathologies always give bad results. Persistence is another of the qualities admired by workaholics, but it is a double-edged sword.

The solution to everything is not always to put in more hours, lower your head and keep trying. In complex tasks, the solution is rarely to insist, but to stop and think , talk to third parties who have different views, or disconnect and do something as unprofessional as taking a walk. When the cost of the task ends up being greater than the benefit of the result, we are confusing persistence with sheer stubbornness.

How to stop being obsessed about work

At an organizational level, the obsession with work is cultivated by many managers who absolutely believe in the phrase ” the boss must be the first to arrive and the last to leave .” However, overwork is especially damaging in managerial roles, who should spend more time thinking than executing. But can a person with an overflowing schedule of continuous meetings, calls after hours, and who ends the day exhausted, can think clearly? Nor should we ignore the large number of managers who claim to leave their skin, but in reality suffer from a chronic disorganization that prevents them from planning anything, nor those who do not work half of what they say they work and try to set an example with ‘ e-mails’ after hours.

If at an organizational level we are all clear that if everything is urgent, nothing is urgent , that defining priorities means choosing and resigning, that time and resources are limited, etc., at an individual level, it is considered positive who ignores all that because ‘it is a machine’. Nobody is a machine, but even if we admit the hypothetical case of a genuinely productive and organized compulsive worker, in the medium term it will never be sustainable. No excess is sustainable over time.

How to Overcome Your Obsession with Working

Although we refuse to see him, there is a countdown until he burns out, exhausts his strength, feels unfairly treated or decides to deny that life. The problem is serious, because a compulsive by definition encompasses more and more functions, becomes irreplaceable and the day that everything explodes it will make a big hole in the organization . On that road to self-destruction, you will most likely drag down other colleagues and generate catastrophic opportunity costs. Working a lot is often a way to procrastinate, to avoid certain critical tasks, but which are less liked or simply unpleasant.

And things get worse if we take into account that insanity at work does not usually occur in exemplary companies, but in chaotic companies where everything is for yesterday , dysfunctional organizations and toxic cultures that systematically burn people and generate high turnover costs. And, in the same way, the compulsive worker is not always ‘a machine’ but ends up becoming a clumsy willful continual generator of misgivings. Insanity for work is easy to spot, but difficult to correct. If that point has been reached, it is because many things fail, poorly defined roles, lack of personnel, hidden work, etc. The manager, often, prefers to let it run than to solve it and then incurs what is called ‘management debt’, that is, a decision not taken becomes an unpaid debt whose interest inevitably grows until it ends up being unpayable.

Human beings probably need to work, somehow we enjoy doing chores and gathering fruits, but that does not necessarily mean working longer hours. In many cases, the most productive thing is to stop working and stop to think , which is curiously more difficult and worthwhile than keeping your back down.

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