Professional Burnout (Part II)
How do we deal with burnout?
Attempting to work harder while being burnt out is probably the same as trying to get your shopping done with a screaming toddler at your side…
- Ignoring it only makes it worse
- You cannot leave it behind at the store and go home
- You cannot give it away to someone else.
The first step in dealing with burnout is to own it. Secondly, you have to take a time out to evaluate your situation. Lastly, you have to move forward by asking for help and getting balance back.
How do we get balance back?
Our approach to balance – and why we constantly feel like we are failing.
When thinking about balance, we try to follow the clock approach by dividing our time between work and home, but we are rarely successful in doing so. When you think about it, you will most probably be required to spend more time working than just being with your family…
When we attempt to divide the day into three equal parts, this is what we are left with:
- 8 hours at work
- 8 hours of sleep
- 8 hours of personal time
Real life is nothing like this. Travel time, shopping, visits to the doctor, preparing dinners, cleaning/maintenance at home and other everyday tasks eats into our personal time. Sometimes work eats into our personal time as well. If you are like most working adults, you might find yourself with 2 – 3 hours to spend within your personal space.
Yes, we try to compensate by spending this as “quality time”, but somehow we still feel guilty about it.
Here is something to consider:
Balance is not about managing your time. It is about managing your boundaries.
Step away from the time approach and think of balance as the two sides of a coin.
One side represents your home life and the other your work life. Both are not visible at the same time, and in order to move between the two sides, we have to actively turn the coin between our fingers.
When you start managing boundaries instead of time, you have to actively move between these two sides of your coin. In order to have true balance, it is not about seeing both sides for equal amounts of time, but to make time to see both sides at least once every day.