Are you a workaholic? In preparation for my radio appearance on August 4, my friend Fran sent me this on-line quiz that might give you a clue. It is based on the work of Dr. Bryan E. Robinson, from his book Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them (NYU Press, 2001, 280 pages).
Take it yourself, and then ask the most important person in your life to take it (but answer the questions about you). Compare the results and talk about it. My wife and I both took the quiz with me in mind. I scored myself at 57 (not a workaholic, just efficient). She scored me at 67 (workaholic). Interesting food for discussion!
If you have trouble taking the on-line quiz, here are the questions. Answer each with "Never," "Sometimes," "Often," or "Always." If you answer "Often" on many of these, you may be a workaholic.
- I prefer to do most things myself rather than ask for help.
- I get impatient when I have to wait for someone else or when something takes too long.
- I seem to be in a hurry and racing against the clock.
- I get irritated when I am interrupted while I am in the middle of something.
- I stay busy and keep many irons in the fire.
- I find myself doing two or three things at one time, such as eating lunch and writing a memo while talking on the telephone.
- I over-commit myself by biting off more than I can chew.
- I feel guilty when I am not working on something.
- It's important that I see the concrete results of what I do.
- I am more interested in the final result of my work than in the process.
- Things just never seem to move fast enough or get done fast enough for me.
- I lose my temper when things don't go my way or work out to suit me.
- I ask the same question over and over again, without realizing that I've already been given the answer once.
- I spend a lot of time mentally planning and thinking about future events while tuning out the here and now.
- I find myself continuing to work after my co-workers have called it quits.
- I get angry when people don't meet my standards of perfection.
- I get upset when I am in situations where I cannot be in control.
- I tend to put myself under pressure from self-imposed deadlines when I work.
- It is hard for me to relax when I'm not working.
- I spend more time working than socializing with friends, or on hobbies or leisure activities.
- I dive into projects to get a head start before all the phases have been finalized.
- I get upset with myself for making even the smallest mistake.
- I put more thought, time and energy into my work than I do into my relationships with loved ones and friends.
- I forget, ignore or minimize celebrations such as birthdays, reunions, anniversaries or holidays.
- I make important decisions before I have all the facts and have a chance to think them through.