Saturday, February 19, 2011

Working out, Burning Out

Here's a little exercise I found very helpful. I left List 1 on the refrigerator for weeks, and hung the Top 5 list inside a cupboard door for a long time.

list the things that give real meaning to what you do.
Write down what attracted you to your current job or profession in the first place. List the things about it that you find fulfilling now. Include the value of the profession to humanity and what excites you about it. Think about what you want to achieve within it, and what you think is important to doing the job well.

There are 3 major factors for stress. Job stress, relationship stress, and money stress. Is the job really the problem? You may be blaming the job for a relationship or financial stress.

This will give you a long list of things that are good about what you do.

From List 1, identify the five things that give the greatest meaning to your work. These should be the things about the job that most inspire you. Write these down in order with the most important item at the top of the list. This list shows you the things that you should protect as much as you can.

Finally, write down the things that frustrate you most about your work. This may involve things like inadequacy of resource, lack of recognition, or bureaucracy. As well as this, list the factors that are causing you difficulty and which are likely to cause stress in the future.

Now work through the list of things that give you meaning item-by-item. For each item, look at the list of frustrations. Where these threaten the things that are most important to you, note these down: These are particular pressure points that you need to monitor.

Think these through carefully, and plan in advance how you will handle build-ups of stress in these areas.

You are most vulnerable to burnout when the stresses you experience impact negatively on the things that you find most fulfilling in your job. Not only do you experience the unpleasantness of stress, you lose the job satisfaction that counter-balances this.

As well as this, by understanding what gives meaning to your work, you know how to steer the development of your job to give yourself the greatest job satisfaction.

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