Are You Addicted To Work?

curated from Forbes

A set of researchers from the University of Bergin in Norway recently set out to determine how many people are genuinely and perhaps even dangerously addicted to work. They developed a Bergen Work Addiction Scale and tested 12,135 Norwegian employees from 25 different industries. The scale reflects the seven core elements of addiction: Salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, relapse and problems.

The Bergen Scale uses seven basic criteria to identify work addiction by scoring responses to the statements on the scale of (1) Never, (2) Rarely, (3) Sometimes, (4) Often, and (5) Always, as follows:

  • You think of how you can free up more time to work.
  • You spend much more time working than initially intended.
  • You work in order to reduce feelings of guilt, anxiety, helplessness and depression.
  • You have been told by others to cut down on work without listening to them.
  • You become stressed if you are prohibited from working.
  • You de-prioritize hobbies, leisure activities, and exercise because of your work.
  • You work so much that it has negatively influenced your health.

researchers found a strong correlation between workaholism and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).Some entrepreneurs with ADHD tendencies may use work as a positive and constructive way to focus their excess energy.

In my own opinion, the study is an interesting exercise for entrepreneurs. However it is important to recognize that not every tendency is a negative thing. Appropriate focus on family, exercise, and even recreational activities is paramount to long-term success, and we should strive to strike the right balance between work, family, health, spirituality, service and play.

Use the test and others like it as a tool, but not as a do-or-die measuring rod. Do not allow a wrongly-applied or negative label to negate your best entrepreneurial traits.


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