Workaholic: De-Stress before Burnout

workaholic, restless
1 January 2019


One of the most difficult tasks in the world is to ask a workaholic to take a break, day off or vacation.

Oh wait... I don't mean to offend anyone. Actually this article is a gift for workaholics as well as their friends and families.

Instead of instructing anyone: You “should” or You “shouldn't”. If we really care about someone, it's worth to spend time to understand and analyze the reasons behind their behaviors (their motivations)

So what drives a person become a workaholic?

I saw many workaholics...
They are kind-hearted, they scarified their leisure time in order to meet the deadline.
They are responsible, they spent much time and efforts to double-check and make sure everything is accurate and correct.
Some workaholics work 7 days 24 hours (7/24) they are available on smartphone even when they physically out of office.

American psychologist Taibi Kahler in (1975), identified 5 common drivers that motivate us unconsciously, they are:

● Be Perfect
● Be Strong
● Hurry Up
● Try Hard
● Please Others

From my point of view, this time-tested theory can still explains the motivation of our behaviors even in the 21st century.

Let's discuss one by one:

perfectionist, perfectionism, workaholic

● Be Perfect
Perfectionists always pay close attention to details, has high standards for both their own work and people around or related.
As a result, they may need to work overtime to meet their job expectation, and find it difficult to share their workload with teammates or delegate task to subordinates.

[ Suggestions ]
The Pareto principle, “80/20 rule” is a well-known theory for time management and prioritization skills.
It suggests that 20% of our activities will account for 80% of our achievements.
However, in reality, not so many people stick with this golden principle.
Always challenge yourself: “Are you giving your priority to the top 20% tasks?”


be strong, workaholic



● Be Strong
Be Strong is more common among male workers or who's an eldest brother/sister in family, because they were taught to be strong to take care somebody else.
They will manage to take control of everything without asking for help, occasionally or frequently they may take on additional or unnecessary responsibilities.

[ Suggestions ]
It makes sense that everyone has strengths and weakness. Dare to uncover your weakness in front of your trusted and loved ones is courageous, you will gain more trust, rapport and admire through a proper self-disclosure.


hurry up, urgent, workaholic


● Hurry Up
Hurry Up represents those fast-paced people who speak fast, eat fast, walk fast, work fast... They enjoy finishing everything quickly and efficiently.
As they don't want to waste or lose every minute, they tend to have a busy or full schedule.

[ Suggestions ]
Our human body has a natural system, if you keep running your body clock too fast, you will increase your heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure... in the long term, this will breakdown your body and lead to certain diseases.
Try to have a perfect balance so you can always enjoy your life with a healthy body!



try hard, try again, workaholic

● Try Hard
Try Hard people are usually an enthusiastic helper, rarely say no because “Try” is their drive! Many of them are creative as they always try to seek a new or better way to get things done.
It will be highly stressful if they are working under a tight deadline, because they feel uncomfortable to turn down other people or low-priority requests.

[ Suggestions ]
Try to take a minute and reflect your self-value, especially the value of your time.
Our expectations may not always be realistic. However, your time is valuable, your time is your life.
Don't waste it on someone or something which is not equivalently important.


please others, say yes, workaholic


● Please Others
Please Others personality is highly people-oriented, their motivation is to make people happy, their source of happiness is the praise and appreciation from someone they satisfied.
Easy to imagine, they are usually a good team-player. But they can easily worn out for keeping the harmony and avoiding conflicts.

[ Suggestions ]
Avoid over-commitment. As you cherish your relationships, be firm and only say yes to something within your capabilities. Be assertive to last-minute requests, you need to take good care of yourself first, so you can help other people.


exit from burnout, self-help

Workaholic Way Out → A Better Life Ahead


✓ Increase your Self-Awareness
Everyone can select and enjoy their own preferences in lifestyle and work style. It's not about a matter of right or wrong, good or bad. Be aware of your habits and how they will influence you (positively or negatively) in the future.

✓ Be People-Oriented

✓ Monitor and Control your Stress Level
Stress is not always bad, according to “The Yerkes-Dodson law” which is known as Stress-Performance curve, we could achieve our best performance at the optimum level of stress.
Too little stress won't motivate us for big achievements, while too much stress will decrease our productivity, lead to burnout in the long-run.

If you are having a workaholic boss, wife or husband... please share this article with them.

I wish you enjoy a new page in work-life balance!






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