Survive That Shift! Our 9-5 Survival Guide
Fight burnout and hustle, baby!
Hustle Culture is real and it’s everywhere. Searching hustle quotes on Google generates around 18,300,000 results in less than one second. We have our main jobs then fill our evenings with our side hustles and extra ways to make money. Honestly, it’s no wonder that burnout is one of the biggest health threats to our generation. We are pushing ourselves to the edge as we battle to be better than those before us and to keep our head above water in a society that seems to be against us.
We’re also in the most technologically advanced times, it’s no longer necessary to contact people by fax, or only having access to our work e-mails in the company building. No, our smartphones permanently tie us to our jobs. Work, e-mails, networking — it’s hard to switch off. Jeffrey Pfeffer, a professor at Stanford University and author of ‘Dying For A Paycheck (Harpers Business) discovered a link between work stress and high blood pressure.
So, before you reach for your second coffee of the morning, it’s time to actually take action before you drive yourself insane, then crash and burn. Here is our 9-5 survival guide, a few steps you can take to stop your work stress in its tracks and take back control.
Speak to your boss
In many aspects of our lives, we bottle our emotions up out of fear of what others will think. But no-one can help if they don’t know what’s going on. Perhaps your boss just kept giving you work because they thought you were dedicated to the cause, staying outside of office hours, not that you were only staying because you worried about not getting everything done of our fear of failure. We often place blame on ourselves for our feelings but honey it’s not you, it’s the company you work for.
Ask to speak with your boss and arrange a one-to-one meeting. It’s important that you feel comfortable being honest with them about how you’re feeling, even if that means practising what you’re going to say in your bathroom mirror the night before. Our advice on opening up to your boss? Explain the facts first, things that you’ve been doing e.g. staying at the office until 8pm for the last month, then detail the personal impact this is having, e.g. you’re struggling to keep up or it’s affecting your home life. You can both work together to resolve the issue so that you feel happier moving forward.
Set limits on the 24/7 work culture
One study found that having to work outside of contracted hours caused both employees and their family anxiety. Speak to your colleagues and the direct team around you about setting some boundaries, like ‘on’ and ‘off’ hours. Whatsapp web can be useful when discussing things at work, but also having the app on your phone is fuel for burnout. Set some rules about your group chat, perhaps you only use it within office hours or an hour before and after. This will stop those night owls in the group sharing their ideas at 11pm and you feeling obliged to stay up and reply.
Take that break
It’s recommended that we should be taking time off of work every three months, in order to be happy with our work life balance. Depending on your wind-down style, short breaks can still be beneficial. If you can send that ‘out of office’ email straight away and resist the temptation to log back in. Otherwise, a week or two may be more suitable. The ‘Journal Of Happiness Studies’ found that well-being peaked on day eight of being off of work, this was due to rest time and better sleep. So girl, submit that holiday request, even if you’re not jetting off somewhere.
Setting those top tasks
It has been said that completing between three and five tasks through the day is enough to feel accomplished without feeling overwhelmed. Prioritise the tasks that would make that day whole and successful. As for the other tasks, set those for another day.