Archives for posts with tag: hard work

Well, this week has been insane. I’m finally getting another assignment at work and I have been in and out of meetings. Also, my freelance job is picking up a bit and I have been so distracted that I actually forgot to post here earlier in the week! I apologize to all the readers of this lovely blog for my neglect!

One of the aspects of starting something new at my job is introducing myself to and working with a different editorial office. I have to learn and adapt to the way they do things, and that can be difficult after working on the same publication for almost a year. It requires getting to know the new journal and the different people within my company who make things work. It requires patience from everyone. It requires resilience, as well.

It’s almost too easy to get down on myself when I’m feeling discouraged, overworked, and tired. It’s a challenge to pick myself up, dust myself off, and continue going when I feel like just giving up. Sometimes, all I want to do is come home after work and go to bed right away. Sometimes I don’t want to face my other responsibilities and obligations. Then, I talk to my co-workers, friends, and family and realize that I’m not alone. Everybody has these feelings. Everybody feels inadequate and run-down from time to time. The only thing that matters is that I don’t give in to those feelings and give up. I want to keep going and succeed.

Luckily, I’m going to the shore for the weekend with my family to unwind. I think it’s a much needed vacation, am I right?

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Heidi:

Finals week at college consists of work, work, and more work.  It seems like everyone is buying energy drinks and staying up all night to complete their finals.  This is not the only way to do it, especially if you don’t want to burnout.

I have this (probably cultural) assumption that the best way to work is to put yourself to the grind, not take any breaks and solder on until you’re finished.  I don’t do my best work that way. Does anyone?

Despite acknowledging the problems with doing work this way, I decided to do it anyway.  It was a combination of wanting to get all my work done fast and the pressure of seeing everyone else do it.  As expected, there were some bumps in the road.

Tuesday and Wednesday were fine I think because I was just getting started. I woke up at 8 am each day, got breakfast and then commandeered a classroom in an academic building on campus.  I would work all day besides getting meals.  I was so uncomfortable though.  I was on overdrive.  Even at my meals, I was grumpy, spacey, and not “with it”.  Needless to say sleeping was difficult those two days.

Thursday, I woke up particularly tired and irritable.  I went to my usual spot to get work done and my computer’s hard drive crashed.  I didn’t lose any of my files, but it did set me back for a couple hours when they replaced it.  I had worked myself to the point of tears and this forced me to relax.  I took a much needed nap and watched some downton abbey.

The hard drive breaking made me change up my finals routine.  Here’s what I did:

I still woke up early and got a classroom and I invited a couple friends to work with me.  Every hour we would pick a song, hooked up one of our laptops to the sound system in the classroom, and dance.  I cannot tell you how much it helped to laugh and get our hearts pumping each hour as a work break.  It put our work in manageable chunks with something to look forward to as an incentive.  It also made working fun.  Why not make it fun?  Why do I (we) insist on working without it?  I worked harder, more productively, and more creatively on the days where we danced.

What do you do to avoid burnout?

I read a brief article last week about a problem that some psychology experts are calling a legitimate social anxiety–the fear of missing out (or FOMO). The author of the piece discussed situations, such as romantic relationships and friendships, in which a person may be suffering from FOMO. Then the author stated it’s possible to feel this way in your current job as well, especially if you’re not particularly satisfied in the position. I thought about this concept for a long time after I read that article because almost everybody I know has had that one job (or more) that falls short of expectations. What else can a person do if they’re unhappy except take the necessary steps to make themselves satisfied, professionally? Looking for another position or building your skill set are legitimate actions, and I don’t think it’s fair to assume that a person is suffering from a “social anxiety disorder” if they take these steps. I don’t believe that the article was making that conclusion necessarily, but I do think it made a lot of generalizations.

The identifying behavior for FOMO, as defined by the article, is constantly looking at social media or checking with friends to see if there’s something better, cooler, and more fun that you could be doing while you should be actively involved in your current social situation. This is extremely relevant, especially now in our smartphone-centered society. It seems as though almost everyone is on their phone while they’re out in social situations, so I’m not sure all of that behavior qualifies as social anxiety (especially when you think about it in terms of searching for a career). I’ve been told to continue improving myself and my skills and to keep an eye out for important opportunities that interest me, and I don’t think that type of behavior constitutes anything other than motivation and (good) ambition. I think what distinguishes a person dealing with FOMO (whether this is a real or imagined problem) from one who is motivated is how much time that person spends on certain activities. Even if your current job isn’t your dream job, I don’t believe you should slack off in your daily performance at that job; rather, you should give it your all so that you can be proud of your work. But, if you’re flaking off at work and compulsively looking for other opportunities (and not committing to anything long-term), that could be an indicator of FOMO.

A person should take pride in the work that they do and the legacy they’re creating. Maybe my current job is my lifelong career, maybe it isn’t. The only thing I can do in the meantime to make everything worthwhile is to do the best that I can in the position I am in. I wouldn’t expect anything less from myself because I’m my toughest critic. So, whether you’re “suffering” from FOMO or you’re unsatisfied with your career, current relationship, friendships, anything–take a step back and ask yourself why. Then take the necessary steps to achieve your desired outcome. No, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but I promise you the effort will be worth it in the end!

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