Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Normally on Mondays I try to give tips and methods to make you more productive. This week I am going to share something about myself and hope that it may help others.
I am on the verge of burnout.
For a few months now I have been struggling with all my projects. I haven’t been able to make much headway on anything, and my interest level is low. Even keeping my blog writing going. It hasn’t been a matter of not wanting to write, because I finished National Novel Writing month with a desire to keep writing like I have never had before. Projects are stalled all over the place. I realized that it is merely a symptom of everything else that is going on in my life.
I am currently the primary breadwinner of my family, providing most of the income and our health insurance. My company has had several rounds of layoffs, and our management and my fellow programmers seemed for a while to be flooding out the door. My immediate management has changed six times since last August, leaving me to train manager after manager to see them leave or transfer. Through all this I have been struggling with an overwhelming workload, little adequate help, and still trying to maintain a household, the blog, and run a Girl Scout troop (with a co-leader who has been on disability leave since March).
The fear, uncertainty, stress and strain have taken their toll.
I don’t sleep well, I’ve gained 10 pounds since last September, and I am irritable and resentful. My productivity is shot. I don’t want to do anything that fired me up a year ago. My attitude stinks. I am turning into a person that I don’t like, and I don’t want to be.
I originally meant to write this piece on how to recognize burnout, and I found some great links (see the bottom of the article). But the truth is, when you’re burnt out, you know it. I don’t need a website to tell my I’m burnt. I can look in the mirror and see the crispy edges.
So what is there to do? I recognize there are immediate changes I need to make:
- Exercise. Even though it seems like a monumental effort, I have to get out and walk. Every day.
- Eat and drink properly. I don’t eat well enough, I drink too much caffeine, and not enough water. I have to eat more freggies and drink my water. (I thank those of you who gave me suggestions on how to make the water thing happen!)
- Sleep. I am not getting enough, and it is exacerbating the situation.
- Fresh air. I am tied to my little cube for 6 hours a day. I have a window, but it is not enough. I need to be out in the air and sunshine, every day.
- Socialize. By nature a loner, I need the support of people around me to encourage me.
- Back off. I need to take a break, and cut out everything that is non-essential or doesn’t give me joy.
With the immediate needs met, I need to reassess what I am doing.
I love figuring out how to be more productive. I love simplifying things and stripping away the excess that doesn’t serve. I love hacking my life and seeing what works. But for the near future, these will all be geared toward helping me recover from burnout. But that’s right up the alley – figure out what is the excess and get rid of it.
I love writing. That will continue. But I have to write about something that really sparks me. And you might see more guest articles as I figure out where that is going, but after a talk with a coach, I have a fresh idea that you will see percolating through.
As I decide what to do about my employment, I have to find something at work that interests me, even if it is a geeky exercise that catches my interest. I might decide to share some of the geekiness here with you.
So I’m curious, now that I’ve bared my soul to the world. How many of you have reached the crispy-critter stage, and how did you get back from there? Please share below, or email me.
Links On Burnout
Photo by Vibrant Spirit