'Tis the Season for Being Overwhelmed...
All of that makes it completely unsurprising that a LinkedIn article called "10 Signs You're Working Too Hard and How To Stop," written by the chairman of JetBlue, got more than a quarter of a million views. A sampling:
- You're not as nice as you want to be
- Your mind is always racing
- You throw yourself a pity party
- You don't live in the moment
- You're constantly late
Dealing With Workplace Stress: Overworked or Overwhelmed?So what's the difference between feeling overwhelmed and overworked? Is there a difference? Does it matter? And how can we as individuals be more accountable to our own well-being and what can we do as colleagues to support others?
Those are good questions. According to this infographic by Cornerstone on Demand, on a good day (a.k.a. not the holidays) 67% of U.S. employees suffer from work overload. That's up from 54% in 2013. Imagine how that's contributing to overall workplace stress.
These challenges bring me back to the concepts of mindfulness in the workplace. As a tool, mindfulness can keep you focused and in touch with priorities.
Searching for Holiday Well-BeingOn a personal level, mindfulness might mean creating a list of to-dos. It helps to visualize the amount on your plate, and it helps de-escalate the overwhelming sensation that can happen when work and life expectations seem like too much.
I've also identified some tips for HR professionals and managers to consider promoting that will help employees fight the scourge of feeling overwhelmed.
- Find ways to let employees know that the organization values personal time. Let them use the holidays to renew and recharge!
- Model this value yourself: leave work on time and let employees know your intent to spend holiday time with family and friends. This is particularly critical for working families... findings in the Modern Family Index survey indicated over half of employees spend vacations dealing with family responsibilities. That's hardly a renewal!
- Create opportunities for dialogue within teams about highlighting meaningful work and reducing stressful workplace expectations caused by technology at least some of the time. This TED Talk by Leslie Perlow might help as a starting point.
Believe me: the work will still be there when you get back.