Those are just some of the words IT professionals would describe their workday and life. You wake up, get ready, drive to work, find donuts to eat, work through lunch, go home late, and go to sleep. Rinse and repeat.
Is productivity linked to burnout? Not 100% but I bet it contributes a good portion.
Bringing laptop to meetings. I’ve seen others bring their laptops to meetings only to see that they aren’t even taking meeting notes. Their answering emails or surfing the interwebz.
Checking emails too often. Outlook is always open. Once that cringing sound of new mail is heard or I see that new email icon, I drop what I’m doing. Sometimes that new email is just an all staff emailing telling everyone to buy Girl Scout cookies from their daughter.
Disruptions at my desk. This is inevitable. Our coworkers will always come to our desk. Most of the time its because they have an issue. And most likely, you will stop what you’re doing and get up to help them.
Multitasking. Most people say they are awesome at multitasking. I beg to differ. There are only a select few who really need dual screen monitors. The rest use the 2nd monitor as a dumping ground for everything non work related. One of the problems I’m trying to overcome is working on two or more issues at the same time. I’ve caught myself forgetting a step on the other task or completely forgetting what I’ve done.
“..When you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you’re increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 per cent.” –Tony Schwartz
Just focus on one task, be awesome at it, and complete it on time.
Eliminate Burnout, Increase Productivity, Be Happier
I’m going to outline the steps I will personally take to better myself. These tips should help but everyone is different.
Eat healthier. Stop drinking soda, eating Cheetos and eating out. You are what you eat.
Exercise. This is tough for me to fit into my schedule. The simplest way to get some form of exercise is to take a quick break from your desk, go outside and walk. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Fresh air will clear your brain.
Take breaks. Ties into the tip above. How often are you staring into a computer screen 8+ hours a day straight.
Get more sleep. I don’t know what it is but my body likes to fight off sleep. I wake up at 6am and wont go to bed until 11pm or later. Most of the time I’m catching up on RSS feeds, studying for a cert or doing more work. The goal for myself is to schedule these tasks and not do them every night.
Stop multitasking. You’re probably laughing at me. I’ve gotten rid of my dual screen monitors. My main monitor is a wide 24″. My goal is to increase the quality of my work by focusing on one thing at a time.
“Multitasking increases the chances of mistakes,” according to David E. Meyer
Don’t eat lunch at my desk. It’s not really a lunch. It’s just eating while working.
Less social media. There are too many social networks with less than useful chatter. Create lists, add those who are influential and engage in valuable interactions.
The end result is feeling better, mentally and physically, and getting home to my wife and son for precious family time. I’m a work in progress and like the technology I work with, I need to optimize to get the best performance.
What are your tips for better productivity and avoiding burnout?