The Dog Days Are Over: Working in a Healthy Way

Curium | 20 Dec 2022 | News | Coaching

The dog days are OVER!

 

As in, we’re not working ourselves “like dogs” anymore.

 

Employees who would work themselves to extreme exhaustion used to be the dream of every leader. Someone who would walk to work when there’s a blizzard outside and the roads aren’t plowed yet, or come into the office with pneumonia because they couldn’t take a day off. 

 

That type of work ethic isn’t sought after the way it used to be anymore. All good leaders know that the employee who works too many hours, doesn’t take a day off, and misses important life events for work, is rapidly approaching burnout. 

 

Burnout can feel like exhaustion, irritability, lack of motivation, anxiety, frustration, indifference, and so much more. It can create a sense of hopelessness or even cause health issues if left unattended to.

 

From an employer perspective, burnout in a team can mean dips in productivity or quality of work, weakened culture, or even increased employee resignations.

 

Whether you’re experiencing burn out or you’re leading people who are, it’s safe to say that reaching burnout is detrimental to everyday life.

 

“So, how do I feel productive and useful at work without getting burnt out?”

 

That’s a good question! Here are a list of Do’s and Don’ts, compiled by our team of experts, on how to work in a healthy, sustainable way:

 

DO:

 

Set clear boundaries for work and personal time. When you’re outside of working hours, avoid responding to emails, calls or working on projects that can wait until you’re back at the office.

 

Take short mental breaks throughout the day. Whether that’s stepping away from a task to grab a coffee or going for a short walk just for a change of environment, giving yourself 5-10 minutes every hour or two can keep you from feeling blocked or stagnant throughout the day.

 

Create progress markers for yourself. Things like big projects and tedious tasks can feel like they’re never-ending. By setting up progress measures for yourself from the jump, you’re able to visualize the journey and celebrate milestones which can eliminate feelings of dragging along.

 

Schedule deep work time for yourself. Setting 2 hours every day where you close your door, limit distractions, and say no (kindly!) to visitors creates time for you to enter a “deep work state” that has been proven to increase productivity and sense of accomplishment throughout your day.

 

Don’t:

 

Compare your successes and progress to others. Everyone works in unique, individual ways. Celebrate your unique successes and journey instead of using it to belittle your achievements.

 

Overcommit yourself. Or over-work yourself! Learning to say no (kindly!) to tasks you don’t have the capacity for can increase your quality of work. As stress levels decrease, you’ll have more capacity to devote to your current responsibilities.

 

Be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes projects can benefit from more than just your brain power or more than just your skillset, so don’t be afraid to lean on your team for support!

 

Relearning habits you’ve had for years is hard and takes time, but your mental health will thank you in the long run!

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