Samantha believed things would be easier with her latest promotion, but they weren’t. Things were actually worse. The increase in income helped but the demands of her job meant less time for her family. Her high standards which contributed greatly to her success now impeded her both at work and home. Disappointed about her performance, Samantha’s exhaustion grew into paralysis.
Perhaps you have a similar story. In the past, multi-tasking came naturally. You even gained energy from doing so many things at once. Now it seems as if your brain can’t function, let alone do more than one thing at a time.
There are two kinds of exhaustion. One is physical from the demands of a busy overbooked schedule. The other is psychological due to unmet needs, expectations, ambitions and hopes. It is compounded by tragedies, disappointments, rejections and harsh realities. And it has encompassed nearly every aspect of your life including your ability to perform at work.
Here are four ways exhaustion negatively contributes to decreased work productivity:
- Over-attentive – You become fixated on new, unrealistic problems instead of focusing on the immediate existing problems. By directing your limited energy to unlikely issues, you are escaping from reality. Since these scenarios have little change of occurring, you are able to imagine success. It is just like playing a video game, but the game is in your head. Similar to video junkies, work is abandoned to your imagination.
- Over-burdened – You already juggle too many balls in the air at one time. While trying to catch a few more, a couple of them come crashing to the ground. The fear of more balls falling propels you to never turn your brain off. At work you are reminded of things at home, at home you are thinking about work. It is a vicious cycle of constant pondering, worrying, and even paranoia.
- Over-committed – How many times have you said, “If I want something to be done right, I have to do it myself?” Taking on excessive responsibility or feeling obligated to take on other’s responsibility will leave you exhausted quickly. It also has a side effect of discouragement as you begin to lose faith in the very people who should be supporting you.
- Over-competitive – Are you driven to achieve in every area of life at one time, with no allowances for failure, disappointment or loss? Would you expect the same level of drivenness from your best friend? While such a drive can be useful in the work place, it can also be destructive. Viewing those around you as competition erodes at a teamwork environment and increases frustration.
There is hope for your exhaustion. It can be beat. Acknowledgment is the first step towards healing, the next is taking some new action. Try these suggestions:
- Over-attentive – Imagination is a good thing in small doses. Set aside some time to imagine that doesn’t take away from work or home. An ideal time would be your drive time.
- Over-burdened – Work issues should be handled at work and home things should be done at home. If you have to mix the two, set aside ½ hour during work to deal with home matters and vice versa.
- Over-committed – Once you have given a project over to another person, it is their responsibility and not yours. By doing it for them, you are rescuing them and they will never learn that way.
- Over-competitive – If you like to compete, establish friendly contests allowing others to willingly take part if they choose. Don’t force a competitive environment as many people don’t thrive this way.
Don’t let exhaustion take over. Your work productivity can be better and you can find freedom from your exhaustion.
For more tips, read Christine Hammond’s book, The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook. You may purchase it at Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.
Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort. If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment. Or you can send me a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christine Hammond (’89) is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor by the State of Florida and a National Certified Counselor with over fifteen years of experience in counseling, teaching and ministry.
She specializes in personality disorders, mental health disorders, addictions, ADD, OCD, co-dependency, anxiety, anger, depression, parenting and marriage. She is a mentor, speaker, and author of The Exhausted Woman’s Handbook. She also has a professional blog on Psychcentral.com, an international website.
Christine has been married to her husband Michael, a local attorney, for over twenty years and has lived in the Orlando area for twenty plus years. They have a son in the military and two teenage daughters. Her website is growwithchristine.com.
Enjoyed this article? Check out her Alumni Webinar:
How to Find Freedom from Exhaustion
Presented By: Christine Hammond (’89)
Previously recorded on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. 1-2pm EST
Are you stressed by the demands of everyday life, the expectations of others, and the pressure to perform? Life can be different. Exhaustion doesn’t just stem from physical issues, it has roots in your thoughts, feelings, unresolved trauma, and difficult people.
Click here to access webinar recording. You will be asked to fill out a short form first, then the recording will be emailed in your confirmation.