Is it bad to be a workaholic?

Being a workaholic often gets a bad rap, but I'm here to tell you that it isn't always a negative thing.

Indeed, being a workaholic can actually be an asset in your life if three conditions are met: (1) you're passionate about what you're doing (2) it doesn't put a serious strain on your health, and (3) it doesn't adversely affect your relationships.

As the saying goes, it shouldn't even feel like work if it's something you love to do. For example, as a writer, I'm happy to read until my eyes glaze over and write until my hand falls off. When I read about historic figures like Thomas Jefferson, who wrote close to twenty thousand letters in his lifetime, I'm left awestruck and, quite frankly, envious that I don't have the time to match his output! I am a rare breed in that my trade (writing) is also my hobby.

But if being a workaholic is causing health-related issues or problems in your relationship, it's a telltale sign you're probably overdoing it. Working hard is part and parcel of being a workaholic, but if you find yourself getting hardly any sleep -- leaving you tired, groggy, and incapable of focusing over the course of the day -- you ought to bring it down a few notches.

And if you're coming home exhausted, you can rest assured your relationships will suffer as a result. If you only have scraps of time for yourself, you won't have any left for friends and family. We can only stretch ourselves so far, as our time and energy are both finite.

Again, being a workaholic has its perks, but it also has its downsides. Throwing yourself wholeheartedly into your work can be rewarding if it's a labor of love, but sooner or later one has to draw a line. If your endless toiling is taking its toll on your health or relationships, you may want to think twice about investing so much time and energy in the endeavor.

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