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6 months ago

Stop being proud of a workaholic lifestyle

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In this era of urbanisation, everyone seems to be working hard all the time and motivating others to work as much as possible to achieve their goals. Everyone is telling you to push your boundaries constantly and tirelessly. Being a workaholic is a popular lifestyle now, and people seem to be proud of this. There is a difference between working hard and being a workaholic.

"Some even laugh at me when I say I need at least two full days off a week. According to them, my current age (29) doesn't suit relaxing, and I must constantly hustle till my late 30s," said Rahadul Islam, a Dhaka-based NGO employee. He also put forward a question: how will we spend the rest of our lives after our 30s spoiling our physical well-being to the point of no return?

There is this myth that tells us that non-stop work can provide absolute success in life. This is a lie as well as harmful. Although some people reach their goals and succeed, they must pay a high price. People have to work hard and should be passionate about their careers, but not necessarily by sacrificing their well-being for the sake of prosperity. Uncountable sleepless nights, mug after mug of coffee, and dark circles underneath the eyes cannot measure a person's success.

Mr. Rahad, who has been doing 2 part-time jobs along with a full-time commitment to an NGO, is already feeling the heat. He shared, "I've been doing this for the past 4 years and I already feel that something is wrong with my body. My back no longer feels as strong as it used to and my eyes have started seeing less. Not to mention, juggling between several jobs, my memory has taken a hit as I am frequently changing focus."

When a person calls themselves a workaholic, it sounds cool, but it is much more dangerous than it sounds. A workaholic suffers from several physical issues, such as headache, neck pain, shoulder pain, high blood pressure, fatigue, poor eyesight, loss of appetite, hair loss, insomnia, etc. They take on immense work pressure, which is not even needed. This can cause temporary or permanent health hazards.

Continuous anxiety, stress, fear of losing the pace in their career, depression, burnout, and loneliness haunt workaholics. They fail to maintain concentration; a lack of creativity and innovation is seen in them for overworking, as well as unintentionally toxicity developing in their body language. These changes are visible to everyone around them.

Due to not having a proper work and personal life balance, workaholics usually cannot maintain their relationships with others. Many unpleasant circumstances arise since a workaholic does not spend enough time with their loved ones. Workaholics are more physically and emotionally attached to their jobs than to a close person. This causes serious problems in interpersonal relationships. They don't value family time and are failing to become an ideal family person. Even if they are the best workers, they never completely catch up to being social individuals. It also costs their friendship, attachment to their partners, and bonding with their relatives and neighbours. They are less common during get-togethers, social events, family get-togethers, and other special occasions. In the process, social and emotional connections are lost.

The irony is that even when a workaholic makes a lot of money to support their family and improve the quality of their life, their success and wealth cannot compensate for the absence of the individual in the lives of those close to them. The family members frequently feel abandoned and dissatisfied despite the workaholic's constant search for prosperity, making their efforts ultimately pointless. This leaves a void which cannot be filled by material or financial success.

Nishat Tarannum, a researcher by profession -- working for a Dhaka-based think tank -- asked the right question: "What's the point of earning so much if we cannot spend it properly with the people I love?"

Just imagine some situations like missing out on kids' school events, not being able to attend several family occasions and functions, absences on family trips, not making up to the most awaited tour with friends, missing your own children's birthdays, ignoring the friendly hangouts, not going on a date with your partner for a long time, not having time for your own people, getting isolated, being detached from your comfort zone, and many more physical, mental and emotional issues. Are these things really worth it? There's always a heavy price to pay when professional goals take priority over personal relationships.

"You might still be able to make your life comfortable by being with your family with less earning. But if earning more drives you away, for whom are you earning? I don't want to see my parents spend their elderly age alone while I am pursuing an illustrious career. There should always be a limit to pushing yourself so that you don't leave behind your personal attachments," she explained.

Workaholic people neglect their physical and mental health. They hardly get any time for themselves for self-care and prioritise relaxation. 'Me time' allows workaholics to step back from work-related responsibilities, lowering stress and anxiety levels. The body and mind may recharge by taking breaks and participating in enjoyable activities.

Resilience and mental health are enhanced by engaging in pleasant and peaceful activities, such as reading a book, practising meditation, visiting a saloon/parlour, shopping or hobbies. This personal time boosts energy, productivity and creativity. Today's toxic work culture, where employees are encouraged to overwork, must end. It's time to stop measuring working hours and start measuring accomplishments by creating a culture that values a healthy work-life balance.

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