Everyone wants to be rich

Many of us look at our career as a means to becoming rich.

Nothing wrong in that. Money does make life easy and comfortable to live.

However, working hard with no time for personal pursuits can only lead to burnout and exhaustion.

Who has not experienced that feeling of being overwhelmed? Burnout impacts us emotionally, physically, and mentally. Various studies have shown that we over exert ourselves primarily for making more money.

There is however also another reason that overrides the need for money. That is the missionary zeal for making a difference through work and just more work. Workaholics strongly believe that it is their hard work that contributes to the company’s growth and that without their inputs, everything would collapse. While organisations do need competent people, there has to be a line drawn when it comes to work-life balance. The zeal for working non stop because we love our work, makes us blind to the ‘blind spots’ associated with exertion. This kind of love for overwork is truly blind!

The third reason why people burnout is the toxic culture of the organisation that they work in.

I remember a friend once sharing how his organisation deployed people at the entrance gate to check time-in and time-out of employees! It was crazy, the kind of unhealthy focused dedication to attendance. Needless to say, the toxicity very soon spread across all sections. Many employees, including him, left because of the stench that had started emanating from that company.

Whatever may be the reason, burnout is not healthy. It has the insidious habit of creeping in slowly and taking the person by surprise.

Avoiding/Overcoming burnout

Organisations want their workers to enjoy their work, give their best, and have a healthy working relationship.

  • Begin with taking care of yourself first. Unfortunately this realisation often comes on hindsight. That is, when our body collapses with the weight of burnout. Do not ignore constant symptoms of headache, lack of sleep, or tense muscles. These could well be the initial symptoms of overexertion taking over and sucking you in.
  • Keep a watch on your emotions. It is critical that one learns how to regulate one’s feelings and not be reactive to every situation. The feeling of helplessness, self-doubt, and irritability in not being to keep up with deadlines and more work should not be ignored and professional help sought at the earliest. Organisations can build strong support systems to ensure there is a safe environment wherein employees can unburden and share their experiences.
  • Learn to delegate. Gone are those days when one was expected to do end-to-end of any project. Seek out colleagues with different skill sets who can complement what you bring to the table. Build a collaborative working environment. Competing internally with colleagues is a sure recipe for ill-health in the long run.
  • Do regular check ins with your own self. Keep a tab on your progress. It is okay to fall back at times. The idea is to start all over again and make time for your own self. This requires discipline and dedication.
  • Do not stop doing things that you love doing. Make time for them.
  • Maintain a practical schedule that gives you freedom to breathe, to let go, relax, and rejuvenate.
  • Understand your new learnings, the new knowledge that you pick up when you start following your passion.
  • Eat well. Keep your body hydrated. In essence, be in touch with your self and your own well-being.

If you are experiencing burnout or think you are on the way to overexertion, now is the time to delete the old settings and reset your life with new configuration and new habits! That is how you will truly be rich!

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarita Bahl
Sarita Bahl is an alumnus of Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the Swedish Institute of Management Program. An experienced and versatile leader, she comes with nearly four decades of professional experience. She has over the years successfully overseen the communications and public affairs function and led the corporate social responsibility strategy for Bayer South Asia, Pfizer, and Monsanto, among others. Sarita has held multiple roles across diverse industries, the public sector, trade associations, MNCs, and the not-for-profit sector. Her areas of interest include advocacy, stakeholder engagement, sustainability, and communications.

As an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and Senior Practitioner (Mentoring) from the European Council of Mentoring and Coaching (EMCC), Sarita specializes in career transition, inner engineering and life issues. Sarita enjoys writing and is passionate about animals, books, and movies.

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