Q: Do workaholics accomplish more than people who work fewer hours?
A: Often, they don’t. That is because, as perfectionists, they may become so fixated on inconsequential details that they find it hard to move on to the next task, [Psychiatrist Bryan] Robinson said.
As Gayle Porter [a professor who has studied workaholism] put it: “They’re not looking for ways to be more efficient; they’re just looking for ways to always have more work to do.”
Good advice for anyone who wants to be more efficient: When you’re sweating for hours over a tiny detail, stop and ask yourself, “Is this really worth the amount of time I’m spending on it?” If not, declare “good enough” and move on.
Also mentioned in the piece: Companies that believe they’re benefiting from someone’s long hours should think again…
Most companies think that they are benefiting from a workaholic’s long hours, even if it is at the worker’s expense, Porter said. In fact, she said, workaholism can harm the company as well as the worker…
The person may look like a hero, coming in to solve crisis after crisis, when in fact the crises could have been avoided. Sometimes, the workaholic may have unwittingly created the problems to provide the endless thrill of more work.
Sometimes the real hero is already home, because he/she figured out a quicker way to get to “done.”