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Burn Out City

Burnout city is a place that some people love to live. Residents of burnout city love to tell you how busy they are, can never take a call,  they complain of their epic to-do lists, long nights, and anxiety at work until…inevitably they crash, have a meltdown, or get sick which is basically the bodies’ way of saying “Slow down!” The saddest part about being a self-proclaimed busy bee is that usually the need to look and in fact be overwhelmed may actually be a cover up for deeper insecurities. Questions like: Am I enough if I don’t achieve? Will I be depressed if I don’t get promoted? Lurk beneath the surface of a seemingly can-do attitude. The other kind of busy bee is the people pleaser. If you can never say no to other’s requests or demands on your time this may be you.

We all want to look and feel important, and we need validation. However it’s really important to assess yourself clearly and see if that validation is coming more often than not from other people’s approval, or your own fixation with external markers of success whether it be promotions, money, or keeping up with the Insta lives you scroll through daily. Thankfully evidence has shown that cutting ourselves a little slack may actually go a long way to improving our performance on the tasks that matter the most to us.

Current Research on Work Burnout

Recently a company in New Zealand, called Perpetual Guardian, had their staff of two hundred and forty employees try out a four day work week that was studied by academics. The trial was declared a smashing success with 78% of employees citing increased work-life balance, commitment to the company, and decreased stress levels. Prior to the study only 54% of employees felt that they could balance work and their at-home duties well. Not bad huh? Sweetest part of the deal was that during the trial, employees were paid for five days of work, even though they worked for four!

If you are someone who has in the past or recently survived a grueling workload, this day off idea will probably ring true to you. If you are working extra hard, it creates balance to take just one day to do nothing and recharge. Even though you may wish you had an extra day, the inactivity will leave you refreshed and ready to charge ahead again when the work week begins. Most of us do not have the luxury of getting paid for a day off, but we can still actively make time to unplug and stop glorifying burnout. You are not better because you are busy. You are ultimately on this earth to live, to thrive, and to share your gifts, and if you could do that in a state of presence and relaxation the world would be a better place.

References:

Roy, E. A. (2018, July 18). Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’. Retrieved July 20, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/19/work-less-get-more-new-zealand-firms-four-day-week-an-unmitigated-success

 

 
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