Workaholic Symptoms: Surefire Signs You Work Too Much

Have you ever wondered to yourself, “am I working too much?” Or perhaps you have asked other people, “do I work too much?”

workaholic symptoms: surefire signs you work too much
Do I work too much?


Is it hard to admit that you may be spending too much time focused on work? Well the answer to those questions may be easier to answer after reading about all the danger, hidden, and surefire signs you are working too much.

workaholic symptoms surefire sign you work too much

SURE Fire Signs

When I observe people in the workplace, there are several who are hands down workaholics or work far too much, no if’s and’s or but’s about it; they are work fanatics. They present most of the obvious tell-tale signs of working too much such as:

They get to the office long before others.
They leave the workplace long after most employees.
They often sign on after hours.
They sign on weekends to prepare for the next week.
They complain about taking vacation days because it will put them behind.
They volunteer to take on work that others should be doing.
They often mention how they are so busy.
They won’t tell there supervisor No.
Their work schedule is slammed.
They attend lots of meetings.
They eat at their desks
Everyone around them are concerned about how much they work.

I would suspect that many of these may not describe you if you are questioning whether you fall into the category of working too much. They are the obvious signs that there is work imbalance. But what are those not so obvious signs that you may be overlooking.

you work too much


Here are some things to look out for and if any of the statements below apply to you, take pause and consider you may need to curtail some of your work activity:

I miss work when I’m away from the office
I spend a lot time thinking and preparing for future work events while tuning out the present.
I put work first often and minimize celebrations at office or at home.
Work is often the topic of my discussions
I use work as an escape from personal matters or grief
I put more thought, time and energy into my work than I do my relationships
I am sole provider and always anxious about losing my job
It is hard for me to relax when I’m not working
I am a perfectionist
I get impatient when I have to wait for others
I don’t trust others to back me up or do the job as good as I do
I always seem to be in a hurry and racing against the clock
It’s easier for me to do things than to show others how to do them
I stay busy and keep my hands in many fires
I find myself multitasking and doing two or three things at one time
I work as if the company will crumble without me
I often go over other’s work to correct or improve it
I am very good at my job
Everyone is busy so I step in to handle the extra tasks


You see, I can’t impress on you enough that it is not just about the time you spend in the office. If the statements above wasn’t enough, here are the more serious red flags to watch out for:

Work is preventing me from sleepingsurefire signs you work too much
All I want to do is work when I have down time
I am scatterbrained
My Family ignores me
My family is too needy
My eyes are tired
I go to bed thinking about work
I wake up thinking about work
I have bouts of insomnia
My spouse and children have stopped asking me to attend events
My older children admonish the younger ones to prevent them from disturbing me
My family is surprised when I am available
My family makes concessions for me and pushes me to work
I miss medical appointments when I get busy at work
I don’t have any friends I want to call just to hang out
I catch up on work or make my work week easier by working on days off
I am not disciplined with eating habits
I am sitting for long periods of time without breaks
I am under a lot of stress

If you are still uncertain after this laundry list of items whether you work too much or whether you can benefit from work-life balance techniques, try doing a pulse check. Ask your family and friends what they think; be sure you are prepared to accept the answer. Unless you are delusional, I think you know the answer. But to state it clearly, if your work is interfering with your health, sleep, family or other areas of your life, then you are working too much. This is not science and you really don’t need a quiz to point it out. There are serious consequences for ignoring the signs.

If you would like to change that, there are some small things you can do immediately. In the short term, you can schedule breaks throughout the day. Schedule time for self-care and to treat yourself. Also be cognitive of boundaries and don’t take on additional work activities unnecessarily.

To effect change for the long term, sign up for free 12 week Life Balance Challenge that focuses on concrete steps to take to create life balance.  Click here to request additional information or register. You can start the challenge at anytime at no cost.

So what was the verdict, are you working too much? Please leave a comment below. Are you showing signs of workaholic? Are you happy with amount of time you spend at primary job? What was the red flag that made you realize it was time to change? I would love to hear from you particularly if anything in this post describes you.

Work-Life Balance Tips
Be intentional with work-life balance. Receive One Tip each month to focus on and watch your life transform.
We respect your privacy and will not share your email.

12 Replies to “Workaholic Symptoms: Surefire Signs You Work Too Much

  1. Wow, I could completely 100% relate with this post! For the past almost-decade I’ve worked in the disability care field. I recently made a change because I literally couldn’t handle the 100+ work weeks anymore. It was a luxury to be able to shower, eat, and sleep in the same 24 hour period of time. This is a great article and I really think so many will benefit from it! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Courtney, I’m glad you found this helpful. I wish I could convince many other people who are solely focused on work to change and not over commit to work only. Having life balance is so important to wellness and happiness. I’m also glad you were able to make the change before it was too late; so kudos to you for deciding to switch it up. I wish you much success and a balanced, abundant life. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I was a workaholic last year. I was using it to escape matters of personal grief and my own feelings. Trying to work 60 hours a week in my 3 jobs that were really physical. This is helpful and a lot of people work way too much to escape problems they have. Some people are forced into working long hours because their bills are so enormous, which is financial stress.

    1. It is easy to use work as an escape. Work always demand your time and is a better distraction than depression. However, long periods of time of overworking have health consequences as well. As you mention, financial obligations is also a big lure into working too much. It is alot of pressure to work and “be broke”. I just want to help those people to find a way to have balance and to eliminate the stress. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Hi, Claudette. I am connecting with some of the signs, fortunately not 100%. I often eat on my working desk and think about my job. But I think I still can control my life balance. I can sleep well and control my diet. I ? love working and hope I will pick the results in the future, but I can enjoy the moment too. So the most important thing to consider is that we should know how to keep our health by consuming the healthy diet, have enough exercise and sleeping, have enough drink and minimize stress.

    1. I certainly agree with you Melani, health is very important. It is in the danger sign category because of the serious consequences one will face if they continue to choose work over health. I would encourage anyone who forego medical appointments or come to work while they are sick to check their priorities. Being healthy is at the very core of a fulfilling life and e should not jeopardize that for work. Thanks for commenting.

  4. Until recently I believe that I’ve always had a good balance with work and my personal life. That was until I decided I didn’t always want to work for someone and decided to start my own business. Now I’m working a full time job and then coming home to work on my business. So it’s difficult to find the balance that I once had but if I work hard now then i’m sure I will benefit in the long run.

    1. Lee I appreciate you commenting about your situation because there are alot of people in the same boat. There will be periods in our lives where we have more recreational time than at other times, that is a given. Balance is not just physical and have to look the same way all the time. I believe you just have to be certain, even during the building years, that you add moments to relax, moments to treat yourself, moments to celebrate family and accomplishments, etc. We have to be sure, even during the time we dedicate to building passive income or a business that we make time for spiritual and physical health. It’s never a reason not to make your health first. Those are keys to life balance. It doesn’t mean you won’t work hard at times. It means you will maintain your priorities. So as you build your business, don’t lose sight of the “why”. Thanks for commenting and much success in your business and in life.

  5. Hello Claudette,

    I read your article and from looking at the list, I do fall into some of the categories. I tend to focus on my work too much as I am concerned about my performance. I am also self-employed, teaching and even trying to make passive income. I notice that at some times when I get home I am burnt out and so fatigued. I am going through personal family issues and this is also taking into account. I know that health comes first and I am taking breaks such as taking a walk outside, making use of my vacation days efficiently for my health’s sake and lessening my out-of-work activities. It is not worth getting sick or long-term illness from focusing too much on work, being a workaholic and being a perfectionist. This can lead to taking too many sick leaves, reduction in performance at work, being too fatigued to do anything; especially at home which can cause family issues. One has to discipline themselves and know their limits. As you have mentioned, we have to keep a balanced work/life cycle. Thank you so much for this article and I hope it reaches out to many others like me. Life is too short and we need to take this seriously in order to better our society; develop a healthy society.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your situation. There are so many people in the very same boat, and so many of us that have been able to step out of that boat and enjoy a balanced life. You will too. I can imagine how much stress you are under juggling all that you have going on. It’s must feel like running in your sleep, out of habit; habits that can be changed with the decision that you will smell the roses as you build your paradise. I know the perils of perfectionism very well. I broke up with perfectionism about five years ago, and have learned to thrive without it. I think John Legend’s song, “love your perfect imperfections”, helped alot 🙂 I embraced my imperfections so much so everyone else had to also. Anyway, good luck in all your endeavors. Yes keep putting your health first; and Live, Love, and Laugh!

  6. It seems easy to fall into the traps of working too much. The problem is recognizing the signs when your “in it”. The lists you’ve created are great, as I went through them I realized I was guilty of some of them. Seeing it written in front of me made me want to go and spend some time with my kids. Thanks for this eye opening post.

    1. Jeff, I’m so glad you found benefit in this post. You are absolutely right, when you are “in it”, it’s not easy to recognize. That is why it is important to plan and prioritize the personal matters, that way, if it is integrated in your schedule, it becomes a part of your normal grind. I love that you want to go spend time with your kids now; afterall, I’m sure that’s who you are working for anyway:-) Thanks for commenting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.