Tired? Join the club. You are not alone.
The majority of Americans are very hard workers. With the Internet, most of us are able to work all day and night.
Though as a consequence of working hard and often, we are prone to face some type of job fatigue at various times in our working life.
Some of us won’t admit this to anyone (much less ourselves) but in fact sometimes we are desperately fatigued.
Why is it that we do not talk about our job fatigue openly?
For some people admitting that they are exhausted by their job is a sign of weakness. So they ignore the warning signs. They push even harder and try to work right through the fatigue.
At times, though our bodies and minds are letting us know the opposite, we fool ourselves by thinking that we are working even harder because we are “driven.”
Maybe we are driven, but maybe we are driving off a cliff!
My experience has shown me time and time again that job fatigue is real and if not acknowledged or acted upon, it can sometimes lead to dreadful mistakes.
Not only “on the job” mistakes, but career mistakes such as chasing greener pastures elsewhere only to find out that the other grass is actually sand.
Here is another observation.
Did you ever notice that in America people brag that they work 70-80 hours per week? Is this really something to brag about?
Some people wear it as a badge of honor- the amount of hours they work in a week.
Obviously working hard never killed anyone. But work exhaustion can actually make you physically and emotionally sick, tired and depressed.
We want/need to get our work done! RIGHT NOW!!!! EMERGENCY!! CODE BLUE!!!!
Are we willing to admit that much of our work is not an emergency? It’s true. There is a world of difference between important and urgent. If we approach our work all the time as an emergency, how do ever know when things are not?
Optimally we are at our best selves when we are working “in the flow” with buzzing creativity and excitement all around us. Our foot is on the gas. Like driving in the
fast lane, baby.
The reality is that no one can ever keep that pace up indefinitely.
So at times we become job fatigued. It is very easy to become job fatigued and it’s
just as easy to ignore it.
The easiest way to fight against job fatigue is to recognize it in ourselves.
To become more self-aware. All of us face days when we “just do not have
it”, when our timing is off, our personal lives need our attention and most
commonly perhaps we have been pushing ourselves too hard. We get tired.
When we are faced with job fatigue, maybe we need to take our foot off the gas pedal for a short time and take a breather.
If you have vacation days accrued, this would be a good time to take a day off, unplug yourself from your computer, ipad, ipod, TV, radio……..everything.
If you do not have vacation days accrued or if you are self-employed and simply cannot take time off, then try and take time off from pushing yourself too hard.
Here is an idea: at times of exhaustion and stress try to have some compassion for yourself for how hard you are working and how responsible you are to others. We are so apt to offer compassion to others, but what about to ourselves?
Self compassion is not just some pop psychology or new age thinking. Dr. Kristin Neff, Associate Professor Human Development and Culture Educational Psychology Department at the University of Texas at Austin has dedicated her life to this very subject. Please click here to read her definition of self compassion.
In summary, job fatigue is serious business and vital to our well-being. Acknowledging job fatigue could actually be a very strong wake-up call thus enabling us to work more effectively.
In the coming days, try and keep aware of your pace. If you notice yourself feeling job fatigue, understand that you might need a small break. If you can, try and cut yourself some slack and know that you will return to your job (shortly) with much more enthusiasm and effectiveness.
A little rest can offer powerful results.
Even President Ronald Reagan took naps at the White House. Forget about politics, just think of the job and it’s responsibilities. Even The President of The United States knew when to turn it off.
I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your phone call.