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Real-Life Confessions of a Workaholic: My Tips for Work-Life Balance

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hawaii chapter.

Hi, my name is Ava and I am a workaholic. You might know people like me, or even be me. I have big dreams and want to work on the next fast-paced thing. I’m the friend constantly canceling plans because I have papers I’d rather be working on. I’m practically insatiable. I won’t stop until I am the very best. I seem strong, competent, like I have it all together. 

Did you know I struggle with inadequacy? Did you know I worry about if I’ll ever be competent enough? Did you know I’m starving for half-assed “I’m proud of you”’s from people who have problems with anything I do, despite my achievements? 

Thoughts like these have formed the basis for my anxiety and unease in forming the “life” part of a work-life balance (which I’m sure are familiar to workaholics). It’s been quite a journey learning how to take care of myself for a change. I treat self care like a “task.” It makes something that would make me feel unproductive seem productive. Switching this mentality helps take away the guilt from taking breaks. 

I am by no means suggesting that you neglect tasks and do nothing for the whole day. What I do mean is that setting aside 15 minutes (at the minimum) to take time for yourself can really help improve your mood and overall productivity. If your schedule allows it, try working your way up to longer breaks in order to lessen the guilt around taking breaks. 

Next, my other tip to restoring work-life balance is to have friends and family who will call you out when you’re working too hard. My mom and my friends, in particular, are people who gently force me to take breaks. For instance, my mom regularly checks on me when I’m busy with something and will pressure me to take a break and go with her on a walk or to run errands. It gives me a brief time to reset my brain and get back to what I’m working on. 

My main point is: I am a workaholic. However, we can and should be able to balance success in academics with a successful personal life. I hope that my tips help make it easier for the other workaholics out there. It is possible to be passionate about your career/academics and live your life to the fullest!

Ava Dalton

Hawaii '25

“I am tough, but I’m no cookie” -Lana Winters (American Horror Story:Asylum) Ava is a Psychology major at UH Manoa. When she’s not writing or working on her upcoming novel, she’s listening to Fleetwood Mac (proud Stevie Nicks stan), reading new books, or rewatching her favorite shows for the millionth time