In our virtual world, the lines between working from home and spending quality time at home are more blurred now than ever before.
If we’re blurring lines and effectively working all the time, is it possible to sustain that? Do we even want to?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the simple answer to both of those questions is “no.”
In our stressful environment, it’s more important than ever to guard our time and clearly distinguish between work and play. If we don’t, we run the risk of burnout.
Burnout. That’s turned into quite the buzz word these days, hasn’t it? Go online and you’ll see expert after expert peddling a myriad of techniques to finally conquer burnout once and for all. Well, I’m going to risk the censure of all these individuals when I insist that it’s really not that hard.
It’s as simple as setting boundaries and standing by them. You can check out the video below for more details:
What actually is burnout?
HelpGuide defines burnout as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.”
Burnout at work can spill into all aspects of our lives, hindering our productivity until we’re essentially useless at work and at home.
Boundaries are your best weapon against burnout.
Scheduling time to rest
We spend so much time scheduling our work hours. We schedule meetings, events, networking conversations, presentations, phone calls, and everything else that comes up in the course of our day. So why don’t we do the same with our downtime?
Prioritizing our time outside of work is incredibly important, so schedule it and then honor that schedule! Respecting your own boundaries is the first step to having others respect them.
Eliminate the overlap
Reflect on the time you spend working and the time you spend resting. Make a list of the most powerful uses of your time in each category. For example, your time working may be best spent serving customers, answering emails, attending networking events, etc. Your time resting may best be spent with friends/family, cooking, watching movies, gardening, or whatever else you enjoy doing to unwind.
The key here is to eliminate the overlap. If you’re watching a tv show while answering emails, that’s not truly working and it’s not truly resting. Instead of doing both for a couple hours, consider answering emails for a focused hour and then closing out your day with your favorite show.
The overlap is so dangerous because it’s often a way for us to justify having the TV on or taking time for ourselves. Not only should we not have to justify taking some time to unwind, we also reduce the effectiveness of the emails and of the relaxation by trying to multitask.
A sustainable routine you can commit to for the long haul is the overall goal here. It’s so important to recognize what we need from our time, both from a work perspective and a rest perspective. If we don’t work, we won’t reach our goals – everyone seems to understand this part. What people often overlook is the fact that, similarly, if we don’t rest we ALSO won’t reach our goals.
Burnout happens when we don’t prioritize our own physical and mental health. Prioritize what you need from your day and you’ll find yourself serving your customer effectively and sustainably.
Want help honing a routine with a healthy balance of work and play? Feel free to apply for one of my complimentary diagnostic sessions and we can review this concept and uncover anything else that might be holding your business back.