Awake early Saturday morning and there was that delicious moment when my brain yelled in joy, “It’s the weekend!”…quickly followed by my brain singing “everybody’s working for the weekend” (It’s not easy having my brain). Then of course, I couldn’t get back to sleep because I was trying to figure out who sang that song…still don’t know…brain still singing.
However, this weekend is decidedly a work-free weekend for me. Have been choosing to work most weekends over the past few weeks with new projects, new website (! you’re here!), new everything, but I know my limit, and this weekend is definitely not going to be a working one.
Many of our clients, maybe you as well, are putting in longer and longer hours, skipping lunch breaks, coming in early, staying late, and working weekends. What with cutbacks, staff layoffs and downsizing, what 3 people used to do now comes down to one poor sod trying to do it all. And, because you are a burnout queen…trying to do it your absolute best.
So, can going in early, staying late, or working weekends ever be good for burnout? About now you are wondering, are they crazy? How could putting more time in at work, cutting into relaxation time, ever be a good burnout strategy? “It’s about control people, control!” (I couldn’t resist going for the drama, it’s sooo not me!) Seriously, one of the great contributors to burnout is lack of control. So think about it, if you are desperately behind on deadlines, drowning under piles of ToDo’s, your day is full of interruptions, and you have a line-up of people at your door waiting for your attention (whew, stressed just writing that) it makes sense to decide to work more! Oh yes it does.
Making a choice to dig in and dig out, to hunker down and get ahead, choosing to find those extra, quiet, interruption-free, focus-filled hours is the same as making a conscious decision to recharge your batteries. No longer will you be feeling the weight of every unfinished task resting on your shoulders. You may actually be able to breathe instead of feeling squeezed!
So, feel free, you have our blessing, tilt the balance for a few hours this weekend or next week. Face the extra work hours with a different mindset, see it as proactive. A “queenly” decision as we like to see them, taking back your power, making it work for you.
ONE GREAT TIP: If you are heading into the office on the weekend, make a point of dressing like the weekend: flip flops, sweats, baseball cap, shades. If you are working at home, keep the bunny slippers on!