Archive | April, 2013

What doesn’t kill you, might make you crazy. 5 tips to avoid burnout

3 Apr

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We’ve all had those “I can’t believe I did…” that moments. Some seasons, we have them more frequently than others. It’s been one of those semesters for me. So much so, that I’m beginning to wonder if I’m sabotaging myself on purpose.  Call this burnout. The line between “important” and  “not so important” have blurred into one big IMPORTANT blob. My subconscious mind has taken a stand on what is really important for my life over the next 70 years, and there seems to be little I can actually do about it. Other than apologize profusely for the things I just can’t seem to get together.  So.

 What are the top 5 things every student and professional should do to prevent this burnout, this unintended sabotage and the subsequent embarrassment of apology?  I love lists:

  1. Socialize regularly. Business lunches and dinners do not count. School business events clearly do not count. Grab your jeans a t-shirt and a Frisbee. Get some time in outdoors now that the weather is warmer. Conversation that has no purpose other than verbal detox does wonders.
  2. Exercise. Funny how this one is always on one list or another. Nothing beats a fit of anxiety like getting the heart rate up. If that means a 3 mile jog around the park go for it, if it means a walk up and down a flight of stairs, that works too. Physical activity will give your mind and body something else to focus on instead of panic.
  3. Write! I love this one.  Taking time daily or weekly to discuss (with ourselves) the things that made us glad, or sad can be a great way to relieve some stress. It’s also fun to read back over what you’ve written in years past—you know to see the improvement.
  4. Learn when to stop. How many of us intend to leave the office by 5 and somehow 7 rolls around and there is still “just one more thing…?” Quit it. Leave it. Set a hard cut off time for the end of your day and leave. There is nothing (usually nothing) so life or death important that it can’t wait until you roll in bright and early the next morning. (We know you’re the first one in the parking lot. Don’t deny it.)
  5. Get a vacation. Sometimes a solid getaway is really the only thing left to refresh your mind and save your sanity. Get out of the house, get away from your phone and those incessant emails. Grab your passport and a Groupon Getaways deal– It’s time for a great escape. You’ll be so much better when you get back, you’ll run circles around  your previous overachieving self.

 Calgon, take us away. 

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Poor machines… Want to interview better? Let a formula do the work!

3 Apr

And this is a fabulous find for my Wednesday. I love hard data. HR should be accountable to every decision, just like Operations or Finance. Implementation is still in development.

Wednesday Notes to Remember

3 Apr

Showing up is half the battle.

Sometimes it’s everything. In academics and employment, professionals and educators share this general theme. Woody Allen famously quantified the effort of our success.

There may have been times over the past few weeks when doubt has been a friendly companion. In those moments it’s important to remember that showing up physically and mentally still counts. We may not have the action down, but there has been an attempt, and it’s noticed.

We’re all new to things. There are times we don’t have the answers to the questions, sometimes we don’t even understand the questions. Our entire life can be a “black swan” when we’re new.  It’s both horrifying and exciting. “Did I respond correctly?  Have I been helpful?”  But with each question and unknown, we make a strides forward and learn exactly what may be expected in the future. It’s okay to not know everything. What matters most is the attempt to know, and the attempt to serve.

Suit up and show up, the rest works itself out with time and attention.

Thoughts?