With all the technology we have today, it is hard to turn off. Smart phones, tablets, and computers make it easy to stay in touch with work and allow us to work virtually anywhere. While this can be advantageous for people who like to work from home, it can often lead to overwork and burnout.
Burnout is different than simply being tired after a particularly difficult week at work. Burnout manifests in distinct ways. Along with poor performance, you will find yourself becoming increasingly cynical about your job. You have too many priorities with unclear expectations. You will stop taking pleasure in completing tasks and begin dreading the next. You will have poor time management with a distinct imbalance between work and life.
Fortunately, realizing burn out is coming or is already here is half the battle. You need to work smarter not harder. Working in overdrive is not productive, no matter what you think. Multitasking is also not productive. You usually start a lot of jobs that don’t get finished. Identify priorities with accurate labels. What absolutely needs to be done first? Make a plan and use a visual aid, like a whiteboard. List all the tasks and steps for each one. This works great with a team. Team members can be assigned tasks depending on their strengths. Use dates for completion, they can be changed as needed.
Finally, always schedule your off time first. This is your recharge time to spend with your family and yourself. You don’t need to completely remove yourself from your email or phone, but schedule few and specific check times. Remember, no one on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I had worked more”!
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO