NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Fired Up or Burned Out?

Fired Up or Burned Out?“Exhausted” is a commonly heard answer to the question, “How are you?” 

When will it get better?  The “run-run-run” of summer will soon give way to the “run-run-run” of fall and the school year.  Are you ready?

Tony Schwartz wrote a book titled, “Be Excellent at Anything.”  It has to do with making wise use of our personal energy.  He makes the point that the energy we bring to our job is more important than the number of hours we work.  He proposes that by skillfully managing our energy, we can do more in less time.

Schwartz also advises that when we set out to renew our energy, we should truly renew it.   That way, when we go back to work, we can really work and be productive.  Sounds like something to strive for, especially for anyone who returns to work after a weekend or vacation more exhausted than before they left.

Other suggestions Schwartz provides for using personal energy wisely include:

Get enough sleep. This helps prevent on-the-job burnout.  Did you know that sleeping too little is actually one of the best predictors of on-the-job burnout?  The Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School has several suggestions that help promote the quantity and quality of sleep that people need, including the importance of maintaining a regular sleep-wake schedule, even on weekends. 

Make your leisure time truly restorative. Schwartz cites this research finding:  for each additional 10 hours of vacation time employees took, their year-end performance ratings improved by 8 percent. The study also found that people who took frequent vacations were much less likely to leave their job.  So maybe a three-day weekend every so often is a really good idea!

Work in 90-minute intervals for maximum productivity.  Florida State University research involving top performing workers was the basis for this recommendation.  However, it can work for all of us.

Avoid exhaustion.  Make it your goal to completely recover from the energy you put out on a daily basis if possible, or for sure on a weekly basis.  In other words, don’t let the well run dry.

Sources:  Work and Family Life Newsletter, May 2018, and http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/need-sleep/what-can-you-do/good-sleep-habits

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/burnout-stress-font-fire-flame-2176063/ (downloaded 8/14/18)






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