I wore workaholism like a badge of honor. The way I saw it, I had an awesome job and I would work as hard as it took to do well. Lisa M. Gerry – Forbes
So what is burnout? By definition it’s “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance”. Well, that doesn’t sound like fun. So why do we put ourselves in those situations?
This is the nature of our work now. Working hard long hard hours is praised, we feel good about it. We find passion in our work and we feel like this is the only way to excel in our careers. If we’re not the smartest in the room we better work harder. We feel like we have to do it all and cannot fail.
This is reinforced by social media outlets and people boasting their success. I’m not saying social media is bad or that you shouldn’t boast your success (you’ve worked hard for it!) I’m just saying you don’t have to look hard to see people that seem to be working around the clock. It’s not hard to get caught up in comparing your current life to others.
This can be especially true for a women entering a male dominated field. That pressure is there to exceed and do well. Although it’s not right, you will find people that will expect way more out of you because you’re a women, because your not what people are used to. You’ll be compared to people who have been there much longer and the pressure that can be put on you and the pressure you put on yourself can add up quick.
If you’re starting to feel tired, stressed out, overwhelmed and loosing interest in your job maybe it’s time to take a step back and look at what you’re doing. Here are some tips to help alleviate burnout and get back on track:
Define your role. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’re working long hours to complete all your work it might be time to talk to your boss to get a clear idea of what is expected of you. This can help you set better boundaries and get a good understanding of what your supervisor sees as important. Sometimes we work over and above our roles to prove ourselves, which is great, but it can take a huge toll on us.
Organize your day. Now that you know what’s expected of you take a good hard look at all the things your doing. Is there a better was to prioritize your work? Is there a software (Microsoft to-do, Asana, Monday) that can help create a prioritization list? Give yourself deadlines and stick to them. This includes a time to start and leave work.
Work/Life Balance It’s not a joke, make it happen. Find something outside of work that you love doing whether it’s going for diner with friends/family, skiing, fishing, yoga. Whatever it is, make it happen. Make it a commitment just like you commit to work.
Shut it off. Our work life tends to follow us home with phone calls and emails. They all now come in convenient cell phone that tends to be glued to our hands. Try setting up silent hours on your phone so you’re not tempted to look at emails as the notifications pop up on your phone.
SLEEP/Take care of your health. We’ve probably all heard this one but getting enough sleep is SO important. Your body needs to recharge, your body needs to be fed and it needs to be exercised. These seem like basic things but I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone brag about how little sleep they got while munching down on some fast food because they were to tired to make anything. It’s not a competition, try bragging about how you’re getting 6-8 hours of sleep, people look at you sideways and you’ll feel refreshed.
These are just my experiences with burnout and what has helped me balance my life, I hope it can help you!
Thanks for reading,
Laura H. Women In Steel Toes