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Ten Tips to Avoid Burnout


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Business Week October 3, 2005 recently ran an article entitled The Overworked Networked Family. In the article was a list of 7 tips to avoid burnout. I’ve modified their list a bit and added some of my own to make 10 tips. The focus of the article was how professionals and knowledge workers can use technology to balance work and family life.

1. Prioritize. What are the two or three things you must do during your day? Flag those tasks and do them first. Prioritize the rest of your “to do” list. As David Allen of David Allen and Company and author of Getting Things Done says, "There is always more to do than there is time to do it."

2. Delegate less important tasks. If that is impossible put the least important tasks on the back burner.

3. Don’t over schedule yourself. Leave some time in your day for emergencies that come up.

4. Build enough time in your schedule to do the work. It is often best to double the amount of time you think you need to do a particular task. This will give you time to transition from one task to another. It also will allow you to take a breather once in a while too. If you are like me you often under estimate how long a project will take. Take stock of your ability to estimate. If you never have enough time to finish you may have to triple the amount of time you allot. If you are always right on the money then just add a small amount of additional time for breaks and transitions.

5. Use technology to your advantage. Manage your schedule around your family events or personal appointments. Today you can take the work home if you must or take time off during the day and work in the evening using technology. Do this to help balance work and family life. Use technology to help you to stay connected but remember there is always an off button!

6. Take time off. If you must be “on call” screen your calls and emails on a day off. Respond only when urgent. Set boundaries around your own free time. Take vacation time to get totally away from your work for a significant period of time (at least a week). recommends 3 weeks vacation a year.

7. Schedule face to face time with friends and family. Being with colleagues and family is also important. Don’t isolate yourself. Make sure to spend time with both family and colleagues

8. Find ways to be creative. Cook, garden, paint, write, play an instrument, build something – just a few ideas to use your creativity and leave your work behind.

9. Exercise. Schedule workouts at the gym or leave time in your day for running, swimming, biking or playing tennis. Find ways to sweat!

10. Set a time to leave the office each day (before 9PM!) and stick to it. If your job requires late nights then come into work later too. Get 7 or 8 hours sleep each night.

About the Author

Alvah Parker works with successful attorneys who feel overwhelmed by their work and are willing to take action to create a more profitable practice and a more fulfilling life. Alvah also helps attorneys and others who want to change careers and find the work that is more meaningful and fulfilling. Alvah has 15 years of sales, marketing, coaching, and management experience with AT&T. At AT&T Alvah won numerous awards including several Account Executive of the Month Awards, the Grand Slam Award, and the Catalyst Quality Award. She was selected twice for the prestigious Council of Leaders, an honor reserved for the top 3% of the Sales and Marketing Division. Alvah is found on the web at She may also be reached at 781-598-0388

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-10-12 18:00:46 in Personal Articles

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