6 Action Steps for Workaholics

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A workaholic is uncontrollably addicted to work to the detriment of self and others.

“Workaholism” has become an all-consuming obsession for too many modern workers, a sleep-depriving, health-robbing, greed-festering monster that may be the most rewarded—and least challenged—addiction in America.

While God created work as a meaningful part of this life, for some, work becomes the primary avenue by which they find approval, respect, and success. God calls on humankind to work honestly, heartily, happily, and as though we are working for the Lord (Exod. 23: 12; Eccles. 5: 19; Col. 3: 23).

This issue is not limited to men and women in the workplace. It can also include women at home who are striving to have the “perfect”home and family. Workaholism is an addiction and needs to be treated like one.

Work life must be managed within the context of a healthy relation to God, marriage, and family life, and commitments to church and community. When this balance is not held, work can become an idol, a terrible taskmaster known as “workaholism.”

“The workaholic maintains a frantic schedule. He is consistently preoccupied with performance. He finds it difficult to refuse additional responsibilities. He is unable to relax. If someone you know exhibits these characteristics, he or she is probably a workaholic.” – Bill Hybels

ACTIONS STEPS

1. Assess the Problem

What is causing the stress you feel at work? You must recognize the problem and own it.

Workaholism is an addiction and needs to be treated as such.

2. Evaluate the Past

Identify negative messages you received about self-worth from your parents, siblings, and/ or peers.

Your significance is provided through Christ, not through work.

3. Refocus on God

Take time for daily prayer, Scripture reading, and meditation. Seek God’s guidance in deciding on the activities for the day.

Read and meditate on the Scriptures that address God’s unconditional love and your identity as a follower of Jesus Christ.

4. Find Balance

Evaluate the activities in your weekly schedule and assess which involvements are unnecessary and are contributing to the addiction to activity.
There needs to be a balance between time spent at work and time spent in close relationships.

Work must be maintained in proper relation to God and to family. When this balance is not in place, work can become an idol—a false god that is a terrible taskmaster.

You will need to “schedule” times for leisure and play. Make sure you treat these times as priorities. Also, remember to honor the Sabbath as a day of rest.

5. Slow Down

Establish a slower pace for each day and to seek rest. Be sure to honor the body that God has given you by getting sufficient rest and exercise and by eating a nutritionally balanced diet.

Explore ways you can include enjoyable activities in your schedule—especially family time.

Change takes time, and as you try to slow down, God will take care of the things that concern you (Matt. 6: 25–34).

6. Get Support

Seek help from a counselor, accountability partner, or group where the focus is on coming to terms with the underlying motivations for the addiction to work.

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