Workaholics are addicted to activity; super achievers are committed to results, Charles Garfield
What is a workaholic? It is a person who is addicted to work. More specifically, work has become the centre of their life and they are ready to sacrifice everything for their jobs. They work extremely long hours and have a near devotion to work. It impacts their family relationship and health.
The classic profile of a workaholic is of a man, in his thirties or forties, belonging to the upper middle class, who is highly competitive, very ambitious, individualistic, and perfectionist.
Here are some ideas:
Constant concern or even obsession for academic achievement or job performance, over-commitment, and involvement. They work hard and long hours, more than 45 hours a week. They are always the last ones to leave the office and they go the extra mile to get things done.
They are in constant communication and always available with their bosses or clients via-email and smartphones. They allow work to take top priority over everything else, including their wifes and children. They never stop thinking about their jobs, clients, and deadlines, about how performance could be measured and improved, about getting more clients and new disruptive products and services, etc.
They often sacrifice sleep and holidays for their jobs. They struggle to rest and relax, and regularly take their work home with them. Funny enough, they become tired, exhausted, and their performance declines over time. They also suffer serious health problems, such as burnouts, anxiety, stress, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, disabling headaches and back pain, hypertension, sleep deprivation, and cancer.
They are willing to take on any extra tasks but struggle to delegate projects and tasks. They are always on a tight schedule with an insane workload. They are highly competitive because success and self-realization are measured by a single criteria: their professional career. They neglect their family, friends, and health, so many get divorced and laid off early on, and find themselves alone, empty, sad, cut off from everyone they care about, and in economic difficulties.
Note that, in most cases, the first ones to recognize the problem are his/her relatives. They realize that workaholics are unable to reconcile work and family life.