A study from the Families and Work Institute cites more than half of US employees regularly feel some form of job burnout. Not shocking.
We hardly need research institutes to convince us that work affects our health, in or out of the office.
Long hours were a big factor in overall job burnout and dissatisfaction. Working too much caused individuals to lose out on sleep. They feel more stressed. They also felt strain in their personal relationships.
However, leaving a company or career after experiencing job burnout may not be the answer for everyone. So here are four ways you’re contributing to burnout. Change these habits, and you will change how you feel about work.
Committing to Unnecessary Meetings in the Interest of Looking Busy
They wouldn’t have invited me to the meeting if I wasn’t required to be there!
A valuable employee worth retaining is someone who can prioritize. They are their most productive on the job. They get the work done. When you are invited to a meeting, ask yourself, “Is it really critical that I put off other tasks to attend? Or can I spend 5 minutes later catching up on the key meeting points?”
If you ARE required to participate, consider if there is an opportunity to jump in remotely. You will save yourself a good chunk of time before and after that’s typically spent on idle chit chat, unnecessary debates, and waiting for someone’s cue to physically leave the room.
Eating at Your Desk
Research shows that splitting up critical tasks into hour or two blocks actually boosts productivity. Eating lunch at your desk is one of the best ways to kill that, and encourage poor eating habits. Go out, take a walk, or grab a coffee. You’ll be more productive and engaged in your work.
Even if you prefer to bring your lunch, step away from your desk and enjoy it in the lounge or outside on a bench. Avoid checking email during this time.
Not Taking Your Vacation Time
For many companies, vacation time (or paid time off) are already factored into an employee’s compensation package. So powering through and never taking a day off doesn’t just affect your health and productivity. It’s also essentially leaving money on the table.
As Four Hour Workweek author Tim Ferris writes, this is a cultural issue in America where we “reward personal sacrifice over productivity.” Ferris says we measure our contributions in time instead of real value.
We falsely believe that being in our chair every day, the first in and the last to leave, not only guarantees our security but positions us for reward. Unfortunately, neither is true in this job market and will only lead us straight to job burnout. Nervous about having that vacation conversation? Read this.
Putting Off the Task of Updating Your Resume Because Your Job is “Stable”
While that might be the case, you always want to be prepared with your latest credentials. You never know when an position, internal or external, may open. And you always have to be ready for unforeseen circumstances like layoffs. I can’t tell you how many candidates I work with who come to me at a point where the urgency is critical. Now, they need to update years worth of work history overnight.
Having your documents updated and ready to go will put your mind at ease. It will also give you a competitive advantage against other candidates. Or completely outsource the daunting task of describing your greatest accomplishments and professional narrative. Or, set a date with a friend to do it together – they’ll thank you later.
Declining productivity, bloated labor expenses and job burnout are some of the biggest challenges facing employers today. Some companies are working hard to shift towards a healthier, more engaged culture. But we can still do more to ensure our own success, health, and satisfaction.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brooklyn Resume Studio.
About the Author: Dana Leavy founded Aspyre Solutions, focusing on small business development and career consulting. Her mission is to support creative and socially-conscious small businesses. She also offers career transition coaching and business consulting for creative professionals and entrepreneurs.
Dana has helped hundreds of professionals execute effective career plans to find and DO the work they are passionate about. She has presented seminars on navigating careers, transition and work-life balance to several colleges and universities. Her advice has been featured on MSN Careers, Fox Business News, NewsDay, CareerBuilder.com, GlassDoor and About.com. Follow Dana on Twitter!