The first time this came up this week was with my coworker Alice. We talk to each other all the time and tend to cover a range of topics, so that we landed on our feelings for the weekend and our dread for coming back to work on Monday was not a surprise. We decided that while our jobs are great – nice people, interesting work, and a good environment – they’re not on the same level as home!
The second time it came up was with Rachel. Rachel and I talked about how going to work for forty years is rough! I’m 24 years old and she’s in her 30’s and neither of us can stomach the idea of doing this for another 30-40 years! That’s a long time and a whole lot of hours!
The third time it came up was with Tracy. We talked about how work and our daily routines get so repetitive that it burns you out. Both of us were wishing for a change of pace so that we weren’t just excited for Saturday and Sunday!
The common theme with all of these conversations, in fact a phrase said in each of them, was “I’m livin’ for the weekend”. I absolutely feel this way too and think we need to do something about it! Here are my top five suggestions to help decrease burnout at work so that we’re living for our lives, not for two out of seven days!
Deviate from the norm
Part of what my coworkers and I find difficult about the work week is the repetition. Over and over you wake up, go to work, come home and have dinner, maybe have a couple hours of relaxing, get ready for the next day and for bed, go to sleep. Repeat. Or whatever your routine happens to be. This gets tiring. So one easy fix is change the system! Go to happy hour on a Wednesday, or catch a movie on Tuesday! Have date night on Monday! Switching things up helps break the week up so you’re not dreading tomorrow.
This one is a bit cheesy, but looking at the positive side of things helps. For example, my coworkers have become my friends. I enjoy being with them. This is absolutely fantastic for my enthusiasm toward work. Looking for the positives in your job will help you like it more, so not get tired of it (or at least not get tired of it as quickly!)
Get a hobby
Something other than watching Netflix! While I love Netflix as much as the next girl (I mean, who doesn’t?), it doesn’t make your brain work the same as say learning to play guitar or painting a picture. You actively doing something, especially something that gets your brain engaged, will help you get excited during the week. Plus as you improve, recognizing the small victories, like finishing that painting or learning that new song, gives you a sense of accomplishment. And feeling like you accomplished something other than getting out of bed makes life a lot more fun!
Take your vacation days
So many people I know don’t take their vacation. This is INSANE!!! Vacation is good for you emotionally, mentally, and I’m convinced physically. After a break I feel refreshed and ready to go. Going on a trip gives me a nice dose of excitement! Study after study has shown that your productivity increases when you take vacation, and moral increases. Don’t give up these positive impacts on your life just so you look good to a boss. I promise, you’ll look better if you take that break and then crank out an exceptional report in record time!
Find things to look forward to during the week
Give yourself treats throughout the week to look forward to! I like to buy breakfast on Thursday’s because that tends to be a hard day for me. Getting breakfast gives me something to look forward! Once I’m looking forward to Thursday morning instead of Friday afternoon my week feels faster and more fun. I try to find a few things a week to throw into my workday to make me more excited about the whole idea of going to work.
I know some of these sound silly, but going to work Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm, for forty years is a lot. We have to find ways to make it more fun and interesting or we’ll all go crazy! Comment with your favorite strategy to handle the work week and not live for the weekend!