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By Lisa Caplan, LCSW-C

A workaholic is someone who is excessively and compulsively dedicated to their work or job, often to the detriment of their physical and mental well-being. They tend to prioritize work over other aspects of their life, such as family, friends, and personal well-being. Being a workaholic can have negative consequences on physical and mental health, relationships, and overall life satisfaction as well as cause stress and burnout. 

If you are  struggling with workaholism try to use two or three of the following tips, and then you can incorporate more over time:

  • Self-awareness is the first step in overcoming workaholism. Recognizing the problem and understanding that being a workaholic can negatively impact your life and well-being helps to determine the best way to move forward.
  • Reflect on your values and consider your priorities in life. Reevaluate whether your current work habits align with these values, and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Develop time management skills 
    • Learn to manage your time efficiently at work. Prioritize tasks, delegate when possible, and avoid procrastination.
    • If in a position to delegate, trust  your colleagues or employees to handle their responsibilities, and resist the urge to micromanage. 
    • Effective time management can help reduce the need to work excessively.
  • Keep a log of your work hours and tasks for a week or two to gain insight into your work patterns. This can help you identify where changes need to be made.
  • Not everything is an emergency and needs to be dealt with immediately
    • Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. When possible, set specific work hours and do your best to stick to them.
    • Avoid checking work emails or doing work-related tasks during your personal time.
  • Make self-care a priority. 
    • You won’t be able to sustainably take care of anything else if you don’t take care of yourself. 
    • Get  enough sleep, eat well, and engage in regular exercise.
    • Taking care of your physical and mental health is essential to breaking the workaholic cycle.
  • Pay attention to physical and mental health. If you notice signs of stress, anxiety, or burnout, take action to address them.
  • Set clear, achievable goals for your work. Having well-defined objectives can help you stay focused and avoid overworking.
  • Take regular breaks during the workday. This is  essential for maintaining productivity and reducing stress. Step away from your desk, go for a walk, or practice relaxation techniques.
  • Seek support.  Talking  to a trusted friend  can provide valuable insights, guidance, and emotional support.
  • Develop interests and hobbies outside of work. Engaging in non-work-related activities can help you relax and provide a sense of fulfillment.
  • Make time for family, friends, and activities you enjoy. Balance is key to a fulfilling life, and it’s essential to prevent work from dominating your existence.
  • Seek professional help. If workaholism is severely impacting your life and you can’t control it on your own, contact the Lawyer Assistance Program, or a counselor who specializes in addiction or work-related issues.

Breaking  free from workaholism may be challenging, and it’s essential to be patient with yourself. Start with recognizing there is a problem and work from there to make changes.

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LAP  provides free, confidential assistance to all Maryland lawyers, judges, law school students, and support staff by offering assessment, referral, short-term counseling, and continued support to ensure long term success.  If you are concerned about another lawyer you can make an anonymous  referral to LAP. We offer financial assistance for Mental Health and Addiction Treatment.

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