Stop the swirl, take a moment and maximize your resources
So you’re working harder than ever with fewer resources and yet more is expected. You find yourself wondering how long you can keep it up. You wonder how you are going to muster the energy to tackle that next big project hurtling your way. You worry that you might become like Joe down the hall who completely burned out. Well you are not alone, not by a long shot.
Stress and burnout in the workplace have reached near epidemic levels across all business sectors. While there is no magic wand to help you deal with this regrettable situation there are things you can do. So take a deep breath and examine what choices and actions you have to change this situation. The biggest resource you have in this situation is likely yourself.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION…
When it comes to dealing with stress and avoiding burnout, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. Research overwhelmingly shows that finding the right balance between career and personal endeavors drives long-term happiness and workplace productivity. The equation is really quite simple. ‘All work and no play’ will serve as a very poor foundation from which to continually launch yourself into the next big project.
Remember some of those things our mothers seemed to endlessly repeat? Well, it turns out they were spot on when it came to what I call the big five: nutrition, family, friends, exercise and sleep. Basic as they are, they still serve as the most fundamental aspects of long-term well-being.
- Nutrition: No mystery here. Eat at least three meals a day with small snacks in between. Eat healthy. Limit or eliminate the big burger chains. Unfortunately in times of high demand these purveyors of nutritionally deficient pap have become all too frequent meal providers. Instead, identify ahead of time which are your best food options. This will help you avoid the nasty ones.
- Family: If you have a spouse, significant other, children or a pet(s), set aside a time of day that belongs to them alone. If you are single, it then becomes your friends and preferred family that you want to carve out time with. The investment in this area can be invaluable.
- Friends: A strong and active social life is key to feeling good and of lasting happiness. Even as you expand or build your career, make sure that you don’t neglect your friends. It may be difficult to actually meet with them but a quick email or phone call can provide a nice boost. Similarly, social sites like Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat can be a great way to stay in touch.
- Exercise: Make exercise nonnegotiable. Think of exercise as something you do without question, like brushing your teeth or going to work. Exercise 3-5 times per week, 20-60 minutes each time. If you can’t afford a trainer, there are many great apps for your iphone or smartphone that are only a few dollars.
- Sleep: 8 hours of sleep each night is what is recommended for adults. Adequate sleep is essential for optimal functioning and health. You’ll have more energy and be able to think clearer.
So, take a long hard look at your lifestyle. Does it include healthy doses of the above? If not, what are the costs of doing nothing to change it? What things do you do to take care of yourself on a daily basis?