by: Amy King, Co-Founder
It’s a total cliché, but the day I turned 40, I had to start stepping up my game in self-care. I’d always put my career before everything and didn’t even realize that I was addicted to stress. I thought I worked efficiently, but I was playing a short game and had burned out of multiple jobs at the four year mark.
Now, I with long-term sustainability as my key focus, I’ve discovered ways to self-preserve so that can help you work smarter, not harder, and avoid crashing and burning.
- Just say NO to Time Macho. This term, coined by Arianna Huffington in her book Thrive, refers to when people brag about pulling work all-nighters or bully others who aren’t putting their entire lives aside for work. While you can’t avoid the occasional deadline crunches, you can help change the work culture in America by modeling smarter, not harder work.
- Whatever Project Task Management Tool You’ll Actually USE is the best solution. I’ve tried every paper planner on the market, along with the leading task/ project management apps and instead of moving on when one didn’t work, I’d sort of use them. Now I preach the importance of spending time to look through your options and find the way you organize best, even if it’s the simple paper list.
- Move Often: My Leaf bracelet vibrates if I’ve been sitting too long, but if a smartwatch or bracelet isn’t for you, you can simply set a timer on your phone to tell you to stand and move every 20-25 minutes. Recent studies and a bestseller book, Eat Move Sleep have suggested that regular movement throughout the day is essential for your health and productivity! Even better? Take a walking meeting or call!
- Try to Notice Your ‘Red Flags’ for Unhealthy Behavior: The next time you hit a work wall that leads to some kind of health crash or burnout, take a moment to think about your routines or unconscious behavior leading up to it. I’ve noticed that if I’m spending more than an hour in a row on social media, it radically curbs my productivity and negatively affects my mood, then it’s a slippery slope from there.
- Lack of Routine Can Be Your Enemy: Creating habits and some general weekly routine can lead to longer-term efficiency. My rebel monkey brain always tries to mix things up and start from scratch every week, but I’ve learned that if I consistently do certain recurring projects and tasks on the same day of the week, it gives me a foundation for stability and frees my brain up to make more important strategic and creative decisions.