4 Factors Necessary to Consider to Avoid Burnout
The world asks for immediate responses, fast answers about everything. This is the era of “instant gratification” in knowledge (Google search) and many other areas. Customers, suppliers, supervisors, employees, patients, it seems that everyone needs it now. We have become used to this in the business dynamic and the highly competitive environment in which the one who raises their hand first get the prize.
Additionally, the immediate satisfactions we get from social media have made us impatient and even aggressive. As the 10th car at the line before the traffic light changes to green, we who punch the claxon like the noise is going to make the others cars going faster. Too many people are living on the run as they arrive late to everything; get involved in so many activities because everybody must be a master on multitasking. ONLY then you can go to work, do your own job and supervise others, go to the gym, take care of the kids, take in a class of high cuisine, and do some yoga. By the end of the day, there is no relaxing, so by bedtime, you don’t lay on your bed, you fall like rock dropped from a cliff into the next day.
If you can get through all that and live without any concern, then you’re living according your own capacities and that’s ok. But if you feel as if you are driving a car with a flat tire, maybe you NEED to make a pit stop.
Check your load
Humans and organizations are so adaptive that seems like they can get used to everything and we have heard we must do it in order to survive. If you are carrying an overwhelming burden of tasks you must check if you are administering yourself in the proper way.
In previous article we have shared some useful tools to acquire balance, such as the Urgent vs. Important Matrix. This is a way to structure your tasks of the day in order to accomplish them and not just stay busy with issues that can be delayed or even postponed, rather to focus on what is truly important.
As we talked above some tasks can be postponed. But this is a double-edged sword. If postponement is becoming a habit and your problem is a lack of efficiency, then you must see if you are using your time in a proper way. Always use deadlines. You must establish some estimated time spans for every step of the process. In truss design, this means time allotted for reading and studying the plans, drawing your walls, roof planes, etc. If you are not fulfilling your time estimations then verify what is delaying you or make adjustments to more realistic time frames.
Social media usage
Make a schedule for consulting your social media. It’s too easy to get lost in into the mare magnum of information custom-made according your interests that are designed to capture your attention. In fact, a sensation of pleasure is triggered by the central nervous system by finding meaningful content! This means you can easily spend one or two hours “web surfing” and feeling you are enriching yourself. Maybe you are, but do it in your own time and not on your employer or customer’s time. This is very tricky issue for us as remote designers, as we don’t have a boss hovering over our shoulders all day long. If temptation is too much block social media pages and set a specific time for using it.
Learn to take a break
Of course we are not talking about going Las Vegas every weekend, but as remote truss designers we can work even more hours than in a regular office because the office is literally at the next door in our home. Then we can get working over 50-60 hours/week (or more) without even noticing. The breaks should also be scheduled and are a way to maintain the stamina during the day and use the proper amount of time for our day of work and personal life. You can set little 5 minutes break for every hour sit at the computer. Use these little “pit stops” to refresh your eyes and mind. Even to take a look at the paper (the printed one, remember?) Check on your local baseball team or the weather. Even simply deep breathing exercises can renew you.
Ever wonder where the term “marathon” came from? Are you doing a marathon in your job performance? If you live your life as if you are running a 20k marathon everyday then you must know of or learn about the legend of Pheidippides: the wounded Greek soldier who ran from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens taking the good news about the victory of the Greek army. He accomplished his mission, but collapsed.
Running out of energy it’s a lose/lose plan. The goal has to be a win/win. Of course there’ll be moments of going the extra mile, but if we constantly are getting to the goals in that way then we must review our routine of work.
What is your routine of work? Do you have any particular plan? Would you share it with us?
Javier Dominguez – Design Professional
Gould Design, Inc.