Feeling Burned Out? Maybe You're Not Being Selfish Enough With Your Time - Deepstash

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 Identify the intruders

Identify the intruders

First identify the people, tasks and contexts that traditionally try to intrude on your schedule. In a work-from-home context, that might be family, neighbors, pets or household chores, just as much as it might be work colleagues or team members.

An intrusive distraction can also be your own impulses. Writers often joke that their homes are never cleaner than when a deadline approaches. For all of us, the constant siren call of social media and gaming apps lure us from more high-worth activities.

Once you’ve done this, you can create strategies targeted to keep them at bay.

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Stop being overly helpful

Remember, your time and energy are finite resources. Every time you give yours away to someone else, those resources are no longer available to you for your own work.

Instead, show your colleagues the courtesy of letting them process and resolve their own problems and obstacles. That helps you focus on your own work, but it also might make you a more valuable team player, somewhat paradoxically. That's because you have more time and energy to dive into deep work, exercise your creativity and solve bigger problems for the team or company as a whole.

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Chunk your daily time into context-driven slots

Chunk your daily time into context-driven slots

Chunking your schedule by context is a well-known method to help you “get into a groove” with tasks sorted by context. For example, set aside one hour for processing all your email, then don’t look at your email again until the next email chunk. Or set aside two hours after lunch for reading or ideation work.

Make sure your schedule and its chunks of time are visible to your team, so they know when they can and cannot intrude. Then commit yourself to staying on task during those time chunks, and respond to any messages or requests at a free time in your calendar.

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Get into the habit of previewing your schedule

Setting a schedule isn’t enough. To really help yourself adhere to it and enforce your time boundaries, get in the habit of previewing the day’s schedule the night before or first thing in the morning.

You can also preview on a weekly basis to get a better sense of what lies ahead for you. Previewing your schedule psychologically reinforces the choices you’ve made as commitments, not just “stuff that has to get done some time — whenever no one else needs me.”

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Check in with your team regularly with better meetings

Regularly scheduled meetings are the most effective way to keep up with every team member’s workload and process, but they also help avoid smaller disruptions during the remainder of work time.

Use the regular meeting time to help each team member overcome sticking points and identify potential future stumbling blocks. Respect everyone’s time by keeping to a strict agenda and rigidly enforcing time limits for each agenda item.

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Draw a firm line between work and personal life activities

Draw a firm line between work and personal life activities

Commit to leaving work behind at the set time and then embrace personal activities such as family time, exercise, pursuing hobbies and creative rest. This is especially important during our new WFH reality when those work/life boundaries get all too blurred, if not erased entirely.

Communicate your “on and off” hours to your team members and employees so they’ll know this is a priority for you. Bonus: It’ll likely become a bonus for them as well, and when they follow your lead, you’ll wind up with a happier, healthier, and more productive team.

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CURATED BY

judclark

Operations geologist

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