The Smarter Brain
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“A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.”

-Hunter S. Thompson, Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

3 Tips to Avoid WFH Burnout

The sudden transition into work from home (WFH) has been exhausting.

Endless online meetings, abnormal working hours and plummeting productivity are our new reality.

And blurred lines between professional and personal life, have led to an unprecedented rise in burnout.

How do we combat rising burnout and mental fatigue?
Here are three key ideas:

1. Prioritize your most important tasks at all costs. This is not the time for busywork. We need to cut our losses and spend a huge chunk of our time (90%+) on the most important task each day.

2. Cut down your news consumption. It’s easy to get lost ‘doomscrolling’ news on current events, but studies show that browsing negative news creates anxiety and stress. Limit your consumption to one or two trustworthy sources that cut through the noise.

3. Spend more quality time with family, friends and coworkers. The first thought that comes to mind when we hear the word ‘burnout’ is exhaustion. But studies show that loneliness is also a significant cause of burnout. In short, the quality of our relationships directly affects our wellbeing and productivity.

Whilst burnout is on the rise, we can combat it by reinforcing personal and work boundaries.

Be ruthless: say no more often and focus on the essentials.

Further reading from the archives: The 3 Early Warning Signs of Burnout Before It Destroys Your Career and Relationships.

Best of the Web

1.‘Zoom fatigue’ is taxing the brain. Here’s why that happens.

Why video call meetings are so tiring…

​”Video calls seemed an elegant solution to remote work, but they wear on the psyche in complicated ways…It’s almost like you’re emoting more because you’re just a little box on a screen…a typical video call impairs these ingrained abilities, and requires sustained and intense attention to words instead…For somebody who’s really dependent on those non-verbal cues, it can be a big drain not to have them.”

2.The benefits of doing nothing 
A psychoanalyst suggests that recent events are an opportunity for us to reassess who we are and who we want to be…

“We may wish to get out and work and engage once more in ordinary social contact, but external restrictions and internal fears prevent us from doing so”

Quick Maths

  • Workplace burnout costs organizations approximately $190 billion per year in incremental health care costs.
  • The number one source of burnout is workload, followed by people issues.
  • The most popular strategies to avoid burnout are family time, exercising and hobbies.
  • 4 out 10 employees who work 50+ hours don’t have burnout prevention programs provided by their company.
  • 7 out of 10 people have experienced burnout.
  • 2 out of 10 people won’t seek help from others if they experience burnout.
  • 3 out of 10 managers address employee burnout.

Sources: Pfeffer et al (2015). Stress and burnout- stats & facts (2019).

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