Did you drag yourself into the office today? Maybe it's just the normal Monday morning gear-shift -- or maybe it's a sign of a bigger problem. If it's getting harder and harder to go to work, and you're getting less done while you're there, it's time to consider whether you're dealing with job burnout, and not just normal day-to-day stress.
Some days, you’re too busy to eat lunch, and even when you do get a chance to eat, you don't always get a break to do it in. If you generally wind up eating at your desk, sandwich in one hand while you type emails with the other, it's time to change your ways. Reserve a little time for a real lunch, and you'll be healthier, happier, and more productive.
Working for a micromanager is frustrating and stressful, and can make it hard to get anything done. The first step toward improving the situation is understanding why your manager acts the way he does. From there, you can learn how to adjust your own behaviors in order to take back your time and enjoy your work again.
Everyone is different, but most perfectionists tend to have three things in common with their fellow sufferers. First, they don’t recognize that being a perfectionist isn’t a good thing. Second, perfectionists don’t think they’re perfectionists. Finally, perfectionists generally find it almost impossible to give themselves a break -- and that's where things get dicey, both for their careers and for their personal lives.
The popularity of yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness practices has increased significantly in the United States in recent decades. Many businesses have even started to consider how these practices can improve workers’ productivity and help them manage stress. In fact, adopting some of these techniques could improve your job performance and work-life balance, even if you don't plan to become a dedicated yogi or meditator.
What do you do at work on Friday afternoons? Mobile devices and online access to the tools we use to do our jobs have made it harder to hide out under our desks and wait for the factory whistle to blow. Still, after a long, hard week, it's easy to let burnout overwhelm you. Don't just coast through the last minutes and hours of your workweek. Use your time wisely, and you'll have a more pleasant weekend, and start next week off fresh and ready to work.
Anyone who has ever had a job knows the irony of just how difficult it can be to actually get work done while at work. People stop by your desk/office with questions, problems, or fires you need to put out, the phone rings, emails require attention, and, often worst of all, you have to go to meetings -- at which, it seems, nothing ever happens. Still, most companies aren't going to go for a totally meeting-free culture. Here's what you can do to make meetings more productive.
Given their druthers, many would prefer to work with a moderately cheerful colleague, instead of someone who tends to see the dark side of a situation, but maybe they should reconsider. Studies suggest that our gloomier colleagues might have a valuable perspective to offer -- one that relentlessly positive types might not be able to duplicate.
Call it corporate hazing: many companies reward workers, either monetarily or with social capital, for working round the clock, both at the office and after hours. Think about the last time you heard someone at your business described as a "good worker" or a "team player." Implicit in the descriptor? "This is a worker who is never off duty." There's just one problem, of course. Studies suggest that working more hours might actually make workers less productive, not more.
Have you ever had to make so many choices in a given day that you just plain burned out your decision-making muscles? If so, congratulations: you are human, with all the intricacies and limitations that implies. Decision fatigue is real, and if you're suffering from it, the last thing you need to do is beat yourself up for "not having more willpower."
Employers tend to organize work around blocks of time: the morning meeting is from 10 to 11, the orientation lunch is from noon to 1, and so on. There's nothing inherently wrong with that -- throw out the schedule entirely, and workers lose the pressure and relief of knowing exactly when their part of a project needs to be completed. But recent research suggests that concentrating on the clock at the expense of the task might make workers less happy and creative in the long run.
Let’s face it: we’re really busy. Between work, family, networking events, and finding time to eat, it seems like there’s never enough time to actually get anything done. We get stuck thinking about how much there is to do, panicking about deadlines and upcoming dentist appointments to the point that today’s projects just keep getting pushed back until tomorrow. But what if there was a way to actually trick yourself into thinking you weren’t actually that busy?
You've likely heard these adages before: "Many hands make light work." "Two heads are better than one." "The more, the merrier." There is truth in all of these sayings, but there are other, paradoxical truths as well. Extroverts may look forward to group meetings and talking about their progress on the group's project. However, all of this togetherness may be holding the introverts in the workplace back. The most productive office allows people the flexibility and autonomy individuals need to get their work done, and done well.
Want to motivate your workers? Let them know they're being watched. This is less creepy than it sounds on the surface: social psychologists have observed that people work harder when they know that their colleagues are paying attention. It's less about being Big Brother, and more about being part of a community. In other words, if you're a manager, simply being engaged with your employees can make a big difference to their productivity.