Many people start jobs that interest them quite a lot, and so they invest an infinite amount of energy in getting better at it.
It happens often times that when you are in that mind-set you become more and more invested in your career and you don’t find the time to do other activities that in a completely different way will also help you in your life and career.
So if you continue investing in your career without participating in any other distractions, or taking breaks the likelihood of you becoming a work zombie (also known as burnout) is extremely high. The reason behind this is that this lifestyle cannot be sustained for a long period of time. It also happens that in the middle of a sea of stress, we think of it as an honour and we see this way of behaving as the way things are supposed to be. But workaholism is not always a synonym of a job well-done.
There are certain symptoms that will show you that your life is not balanced and that you are indeed becoming a work zombie. Some of the most common ones are lack of energy or desire to hang out with friends, the neglect of your own health out of lack of time, and a feeling of disillusionment with your work and life in some cases.
It has been shown that people in this kind of situation stop being productive altogether at a very basic level, transforming in the very opposite they were intending to become. Some of the signs you should be on the watch out are:
- You feel extremely tired all the time. At work and outside work.
This is a clear sign and this type of exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. At its core it’s the sense of not having any energy at all, even for the things you once used to enjoy.
- You don’t feel motivated in activities once you used to enjoy
This usually translates in feeling demotivated at work, but it can also transfer to all the other areas of a person’s life. Motivation makes us more productive so once we lose that is very hard to find the energy to continue with your tasks, no matter how small.
- Negative emotions
This can go from feeling a bit negative about the role or task to feeling negative about the whole company, life and so on…
- Cognitive Problems
This is by far the most ironic consequence of burn-out. People intending to be better at their jobs, becoming so stressed that they start living in panic mode all the time. Because of this ‘panic mode’ stress will interfere with your ability to pay attention to details and to concentrate on important tasks. This is a normal survival reaction deeply ingrained in our brains. When we’re stressed over a long time and this stress becomes chronic, our attention will narrow to focus on the negative element that we perceive as a threat, and our brain will not distinguish between the stress produced by being chased by a lion and the one caused by the end of a deadline.It will produce the same reaction in our bodies: the classic ‘fight or flight reaction’. This can affect negatively our ability to solve problems and to perform our duties in a successful way.
If you experience these symptoms, you need to change some things before you turn into a work zombie. Some of the things that you can do are:
1.- Assess the situation: Is the amount of work reasonable? Do you need to speak to a superior to improve certain aspects of the role? Maybe some ways to process things should be updated so it takes less effort and time.
2.- Do schedule personal and off time as a productivity practice. Our brain simply needs the time off to function at their best. Consider this every time you work through lunch. Make time for activities that energise you and that have no particular purpose other than to recharge your batteries.
3.- Make use of software that will do the tedious tasks for you. There is software out there, like the one we offer that will take the hassle of managing properties and will integrate all the different aspects of this role in one single solution. The use of these software packages will let you focus on those aspects that a machine cannot deal with, the ones that require more creativity maybe, or a personal touch, but you can automate and receive reminders for many aspects of the rental or booking cycle that will make your life way easier.
Written by E.Soriano