With worker disengagement and job unhappiness at a staggering all-time high, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate how you spend your days and consider opting out of the draining or useless things in your life. Ask yourself; ‘Is this really a thing that’s part of my job? Do I really have to do it?’
Sometimes the answer is yes, but new research suggests as much as a quarter of the tasks we’ve taken on over the years may be taking up our valuable time unnecessarily. So, it might be time to just let them go. Imagine that?!
Of course it’s easier said than done. We’re putting in more hours than ever, we can’t say no to that late-night zoom call, we’re working weekends and, for many, our home is still our office. Add to this the fact that tasks have ballooned as colleagues leave in a wave of quitting thanks to the Great Resignation, and some companies decide not to replace those who have left, it’s no wonder nearly 90% of workers said they experienced burnout over the past year, according to a study from people analytics firm Visier.
However, if you can “care a little less about work” – and by that we mean, “care more about yourself” – you might start seeing your job in a whole new light.
How To Care Less
It can be as simple as setting some boundaries with an afterwork ritual or routine. Your brain will benefit from a signal that tells it, “Work is over”. Go for a walk or meditate once you’ve downed tools. Listen to music, read a book, or lift weights, which some studies show boosts your mood more than cardio.
It can be deciding to minimise time spent on emails (do you have to answer each one immediately? Nope.), blocking off a few hours where you don’t schedule meetings or calls, or taking a couple of well-earned breaks throughout the day. Rather than caring about everything, choose what’s most important and let go of the pressure on the things that don’t matter to you so much.
Choose what’s most important and let go of the pressure on the things that don’t matter to you so much.
And if you’re in a leadership role, set an example. After she had children, TV writer and producer Shonda Rhimes changed her work email signature to read, “Please Note: I will not engage in work emails after 7:00 P.M. or on weekends. IF I AM YOUR BOSS, MAY I SUGGEST: PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE.”
Taking time to recharge in the evening, enjoying your full lunch hour to eat and relax, or saying “no thanks” to another never-ending conference call doesn’t make you a bad worker; you might end up being better at your job. And it’s always worth remembering, and perhaps even repeating to yourself on a daily basis: you just work there.
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