How to deal with burn-out

FireIts pretty rare that I get burnt-out, partly because I am pretty aware of my workload and the pressure I am under, but also because I have this sort of unwritten – until now – strategy:

  • I encourage a peer group support culture,  help other people when they are struggling and they might help you when you need help
  • I am honest about how I am feeling and am not afraid to have a good moan
  • I speak up when I don’t agree with something,  but know when to give in
  • I don’t keep lists,  I know if its important I will remember and if its not I will forget.  The ability to forget stuff thats not important or urgent means I rarely feel overwhelmed
  • If I struggle sleeping, (because of work), that means there is a problem, do something about it the very next day
  • I try to develop a relationship with my manager along the lines of – I’ll do my best for you, so long as you are there when I need you
  • I keep good records and am pretty professional
  • I break rules (but not important ones) or find ways around problems
  • I operate on the principle of assumed responsibility (if something needs to be done and you don’t know who should do it,  assume you have the responsibility and authority to fix it and move on).  This works because for me frustration is the biggest risk of burn-out.

Still sometimes I do get burnt out,  here’s how it happens

  • Someone does something very stupid or annoying,  my motivation drops to rock bottom, and coping yesterday becomes burn-out tomorrow
  • I loose control, often because managers try to “help” me, they have me running around all over the place and not working on what I feel is important
  • I become emotionally committed to the success of a project, if things get difficult I try too hard to make them work

When this happens I:

  • Call in the favours
  • Take the afternoon off and go for a walk or to the cinema
  • Make a list or a plan
  • Get the “in control feeling back”

To-Done “working to live” describes an alternative strategy

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    I just wanted to say that its always good to find out about other people working at home. So many people think that it is impossible or even on the flip side that we’re not really working.

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