How to prevent burnout and still do the job
Some great managers are waking up at 4am and work until midnight, some can't get out of the bed before 9am and work until 5pm, but they all have one thing in common: they have tremendous responsibility sitting on their shoulders. It's not just about them, it's about all people they are responsible for and it's about the whole company and shareholders. After some time, a burnout is very possible. In other words, too much work may lead to some serious health problems.
How to prevent it? First, separate clearly your business and private life and don't fall into temptation to have them interconnected all the time. Forget young managers from the movies walking around with a phone on their ear all day and night, they wouldn't last long enough in real life to be senior executives.
You simply need your private time when you are not in reach to anyone. No matter are we talking here about one hour or five hours, your brain need some free time every day to stay sane. Some problem in the production? OK, there are other people for that. Your overseas factory has some problem? Fine. Some idea for tomorrow must be discussed? Interesting... The point is, if you break your free time once, you'll break it every time. And that's not good.
When you are free, don't think about your business the way you usually do. Some people really do enjoy their work and live it 24 hours a day. But even in those situations, you should think about your job differently in your free time. It's OK to think about new projects or idea, but not to solve everyday problems. If your job is your hobby, at least make it different.
A simple but effective tactics is to use time when you travel to work and time before sleep to relax. When driving to work, keep your switch on "free". Turn on radio, insert a CD, think about weather - and don't switch to "work" until you step in your office. Before bed, watch some TV, read a book, surf the internet randomly - but don't think about your next working day. Your brain needs some time to prepare for sleep and you'll be in your office tomorrow anyway.
Remember: your company will be there tomorrow and won't be destroyed just because you don't think about it every single second. And you will do much more if you are approaching your job fresh and smiling. ■
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