Work -  Life - Balance

We hear a lot about job burnout these days. I don’t know whether we had a more strategic approach to work in the old days, but that does seem to be an emerging disease. Burnout is a long-term exhaustion associated to a decreased motivation for work. Some jobs are more likely to trigger burnout. Some even after the very first day of work. Try telesales operator or stun gun tester for example. But, over the years, works like researchers (in the broad sense) are likely to make you insidiously accumulate fatigue and stress to make you burn out all your energy. Being passionate with your job, when it is a tiring and stressing one, can lead to burnout without you realising. Worst, in the extremely competitive world in which students are now pushed, a PhD Thesis can become synonymous to a marathon race at the pace of a sprint.

It is important to maintain a carefully managed equilibrium between personal life and work. It is essential not to get swallowed into the vortex of ever-more work, because it’s a never-ending story. There’s always going to be more work to do and at the end, the work doesn’t get tired, you do.

And what happens when you’re too tired anyways? You’re not efficient, you’re slow, you’re less creative and less rigorous, in a word, you suck. Ok, that’s two words. In a word, yousuck. So you get tired for nothing, bad strategy. In that case, have a break, go running, gaming, clubbing or whatever it is you do to unwind. And you’ll see that when you’re really rested, body and mind, you’ll work better the next day and you’ll like it better. Same goes for the long term. Don’t forget to take long breaks, disconnect, go on vacation. Even when you have a huge deadline and you feel you can’t even stop to pee for two weeks, sometimes taking just one day off is going to boost you for the rest of the days and you’ll achieve much more than if you hadn’t stopped.

And don’t forget to have a life. Balanced people are not only better at work, they are also nicer in general.

I’ll give you a final example. Now you’re procrastinating and surfing on the Internet, browsing over pointless blogs and such. You’ve been going that for some time. Now restore the balance, and GO DO SOME WORK!

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