Tuesday, 22 October 2013

How to Avoid Burnout—or a Breakdown

A friend of mine once said: 'I wish I could have an accident, a car crash...nothing really serious. Just to spend some days in hospital, away from everything'. At first, I laughed it off but soon realised that this thought did, at times and perhaps not to my great delight, pass my mind from time to time.
The following are some tips that we should follow if are to avoid, and overcome, this social breakdown:
1. Get enough rest. Ok...we know that you don’t have time to sleep. Or you think you are the exception to the rule—you don’t need the seven-to-nine hours of sleep that doctors and experts prescribe. Maybe you wish you could get more sleep, but you just can’t find a way to put sleep above your other priorities.
Ask yourself: What are your other priorities? Your health? Your happiness? Productivity and success at work? Raising happy and healthy children? Here’s the truth: You will not fulfill your potential in any of these realms unless you get the sleep your body, brain, and spirit needs.
But that’s not all: We also need to rest during the day . We are not computers, able to run continuously. This means that we need to rest between periods of productivity. After about 90 to 120 minutes of high output, we need a period of recovery—or stress and exhaustion start to build, and productivity starts to decline. Rest periods do not have to be long (10-15 minutes will do) if you truly take a break: Go for a walk outside, read an article that really interests you (but is not on your task list), chat with a co-worker or neighbour, eat your lunch outside or near a sunny window. 
2. Do only one thing at a time. Multi-tasking talent is nothing to brag about. If we just focused on one task at a time, we’d actually be more productive in the long run, and we'd be less exhausted at the end of the day. This is because multi-tasking exhausts more energy and time than single-tasking does. Take it from productivity experts Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy:
Distractions are costly: A temporary shift in attention from one task to another—stopping to answer an email or take a phone call, for instance—increased the amount of time necessary to finish the primary task by as much as 25 percent, a phenomenon known as “switching time.”

3. Reduce the amount of 'junk stimulus' that you need to deal with.
 We are bombarded, day and night, with loads of, pardon my language, CRAP. TV ads (or even news!) we aren't interested in that we watch anyway, making us anxious. A mailbox full of advertising and other 'dead tree marketing'. Emails upon emails, mingling with Facebook posts and Tweets and texts. 
Left unchecked, all this junk stimulus will bleed us dry. It is exhausting even as it is sometimes entertaining. This week, take notice of all the clutter in your life.
Muovo has shared with you this article courtesy of Greater Good.
Nikita Pisani at Muovo

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