Beat, bedraggled, bushed, busted, cooked, dead, dead tired, dog tired, done, done for, done in, drained, exhausted, fatigued, finished, listless, run down, run ragged, ready to drop, kaput, out of gas, out of steam, overextended, overwhelmed, overtired, shot, spent, strained, weary, tuckered out, worse for the wear, stressed out, tired, tired out, pooped out, played out, wiped out, worn, worn down, worn out, burned out…
Recognize any of these descriptors? Chances are good that you have not only heard them used by others, you’ve used them to describe yourself relative to the increasingly frantic pace of business and life in general. During this recent holiday season, it seemed at least one of these terms came up in every conversation.
In a recent issue of Organizational Dynamics, Management Professor John Boudreau and former Northrop Grumman Corp. Chief Human Resources Officer Ian Ziskin described the current business environment this way: “Employees are, to put it simply, just plain exhausted—physically, emotionally and psychologically.” Additionally, in a recent Workforce Management online poll, it was reported that a majority of H/R professionals said that employee workloads have risen to an unsustainable level.
This collective data suggests that as we begin the New Year a change of approach is sorely needed. Here are eight strategies for handling the stress of today’s breakneck pace to help RECHARGE the passion and energy we all need to make it through the next hour, day, week, month and year:
Rest. Get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Take frequent breaks throughout the day and use “timeouts” when needed. This practice will reap higher productivity during those periods when you are rested and fully engaged.
Exercise. Get moving at least three times a week for at least 30 minutes each time.
Connect. Spend time with family and friends. This simple practice has been proven to reduce stress. Ask for help when you need it.
Have fun. Life is too short to be miserable. Find joy in each day because every day is a gift.
Accept the imperfections of life. Don’t let “good” be the victim of “perfect.” Understanding and patience are critical to building productive relationships – both personal and professional.
Reward yourself. Take a vacation. Invest time in something you want to do. Get something you’ve always wanted to have. Create something to look forward to.
Go somewhere new. Take a new route to work. Visit a strange place or engage different people. New experiences keep your mind fresh and your soul nourished.
Eat healthy. Eat well. Don’t skip meals. Pay attention to what you ingest. We are what we eat.
You may think these tips are more relevant to your personal life than your professional life, but that could not be further from the truth. Take better care of yourself and you’ll have the renewed energy and laser focus necessary to not just survive, but to THRIVE in 2013!
Perhaps Seth Godin said it best: “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year!