Being Diligent vs Being A Workaholic: Finding Balance

Spring break tells you a lot about people. Whether you see it through pictures on social media, them bragging before or after the fact, or you use spring break plans for small talk before class, it’s a great way to see what people care about when they’re not worried about deadlines and GPAs. The single parent is excited to play with their kiddo(s) more, the wild child is already planning party schedules so they can hit as many as possible, the budding vet wants to volunteer at the animal shelter, and most people are really excited about naps. Even the first day off can tell you about them, all by itself.

What did I do?

Oh. I cleaned my room.

I did sleep in first, and planned some relaxed family time for the middle of break, but it tends to surprise people that the first thing I do in my free time is work on something a little more! Although it may seem really helpful in the short-term, it can be harmful in the long-term, as I realized when I became a workaholic.

A workaholic is someone with compulsive work habits, who just cannot handle taking a day off. Every day is all around work, and taking a day off does more harm than good at first because they are literally addicted to work. For me, it was the high of achievement, knowing that I had checked a box and crossed something more off the list. While the scientific jury still seems to be out as to whether or not an addiction to achievement is psychologically the same as other addictions, there is definitely something going on here. These destructive habits often go relatively unnoticed, or even praised under the guise of “dedication” or “diligence,” but that is not the truth of the matter.

Diligence is not about never taking a day off, or becoming so obsessed with your work that your friends, family, health, and other important areas of your life suffer for it. Diligence is about dedication to the things you do in and outside of work, and putting in the time and effort to reach your goals consistently. Rome was not build in a day, and as we follow our dreams with confidence, it is equally important that we follow them with diligence.

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