In our ever-connected world, it is hard to imagine a time before tech. We wake up every morning and check our email before we have our first cup of coffee. We review our meeting schedule while listening to voicemail. We eat our breakfast (if we’re lucky) with one hand while we answer texts with the other … and that’s just in the morning.
As your work day begins, the day becomes a tempest of notifications, messages, and memos. We spend more time in front of the glowing light of our screens than in the light of the sun. Even when we go on vacation, we bring it all along with us on our smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
Being constantly connected, even when we’re not on the clock, eventually builds in hostility. The feeling that you cannot escape your work even on your time off can be a drain on your time and on your psyche.
In order to avoid the burnout your tech can bring on, consider these three tips before you swipe to unlock.
Your Phone Should Not Be the First Light You See
So many people wake up in the morning and immediately jump into work mode. Instead of allowing yourself to slowly work your way into the day, you let your work take over your day.
There’s no need to start your day answering email. Very few things that arrive via email are so critical that they cannot wait for an hour, or half an hour at least. Consider this, if it was truly that important, wouldn’t someone have called?
The best way to fight the urge, let sleeping (phone screens) lie.
Many people would argue that it isn’t that simple, as many have substituted a traditional alarm clock for the alarm app on their phone. This is a case where going old-school may be best. Make an investment in your sanity, get a basic alarm clock, and give yourself a chance to wake up sans tech.
Plan Ahead for a Peaceful Vacation
Many people, from upper level management to the support personnel working behind the scenes, have the secret fear that the (business) world will collapse without them in it, yet this is a fairly new concept in the grand scheme of things.
After all, remote access to email and network resources, or even phone calls, hasn’t truly been around that long. Add on to that the feeling that we can’t take time off without our electronic leashes strapped to our hips, it isn’t a surprise that many people don’t know how to set work down.
With a little pre-planning, it is possible to take a break without feeling like you can’t truly get away. A week or two prior to your break, review upcoming tasks and deadlines. Prepare as much in advance as you can, and work with coworkers to cover what you can’t. Figure out which tasks are must do’s and leave the rest for your return.
Understand What Is Truly Necessary
While many of us jump to say yes to any tasks tossed our way, this may not be the best approach if you want to avoid burnout. Granted, the option to negotiate on a task may not always be available, but in times when you are already feeling pushed to the max, do consider digging deeper before you agree.
Use thoughtful language to open a dialogue. Try to understand if you have the ability to make their desired outcome a reality. Don’t be afraid to ask probing questions. In some cases, it may turn out the information they need has been created before, or the task may not need to be handled in the way they initially thought. By being open, and thorough, you can better determine the solution whether it involves you or not.
When in Doubt
In cases where you truly feel that the work cannot go undone, consider whether an extra set of hands might be a better solution. With over 20 years of information technology staffing experience, the IT Project Staffing Experts at ITStaff may have a solution that keeps the work moving forward, so you can kick back.