How Long-Term Planning Allows for Smoother Seasonal Transitions at Work
As summer comes to an end, many people feel a little drained. This happens during almost every seasonal change. With a new season comes new events and more planning, and every person goes through significant life changes, no matter where they work. As a result, many people in the workplace lose focus.
How can you better prepare for seasonal and life transitions without impacting your work?
Small Businesses and Burnout
Seasonal burnout or employee burnout of any kind can be detrimental to a business, especially if they have a small number of employees. Small businesses need every team player to do their part in order to have success. If one person isn’t focused, it could lead a project to fail and revenue loss. That’s something small businesses simply can’t afford.
Burnout typically occurs due to a lack of work-life balance. That’s why it is important for employees and employers alike to keep an eye out for the symptoms of burnout. Symptoms include anger, anxiety, depression, fatigue, insomnia, lack of appetite, and decreased concentration.
This isn’t unavoidable, though. There are plenty of methods you can use to prevent burnout for yourself and within your company.
How to Prevent Burnout in Small Work Settings
Control any aspects of your job that you can. For instance, find new and better ways to organize your everyday tasks. You may even find cleaning up your workspace helps you better focus. You can also prioritize your work so that you can stay on top of deadlines and possibly even get ahead.
You should also schedule downtime for yourself. If you’re part of a startup or small business, you likely work more hours each week than regular nine-to-five employees. If you can’t schedule downtime, you should certainly have set working hours and stick to them. When you leave the office or your workspace, don’t continue to think about work.
The best thing a small business employee can do, however, is to learn to say no when they simply can’t fit anything else into their schedule. While that may be difficult to do at first, you’ll find creating a clear separation between work and your personal life brings a sense of peace to your job.
How You Can Prepare for Seasonal Transitions
Sometimes lack of focus doesn’t always stem from burnout. Seasonal change can play a factor in how employees perform at work as well. Right now, everyone is going through the transition from summer to fall. The weather is cooling down and the sun is out less. These changes impact the way people interact with work. If you know seasonal change affects you, you can do some planning to get ahead of it.
Similar to dealing with burnout at work, you can take control of your workload and focus on centering yourself — especially if you are balancing work, life, and even grad school. First, create a schedule or a plan for your all your responsibilities. By creating a schedule and sticking to it, you will be more consistent, despite any seasonal change. Another important aspect of preparing for seasonal transitions is staying on top of your current workload. Getting behind now will only facilitate further stress in the workplace during any transition.
In the age of technology, it is also extremely important that you find time to unplug from electronics and from work itself. The feeling that you need to be plugged in all the time can cause additional stress. While you’re unplugged, focus on self-care. Hit the gym, read a book, or just do something you love. This will help you maintain work-life balance and focus during any transition.
Tips to Help Dodge Disruption to Your Career
Burnout and seasonal change can certainly cause disruption in the workplace, but they aren’t the only factors. Sometimes those big life changes can have a huge impact on your ability to focus at work too. If you’re planning a wedding, moving, or having any other big life change, plan ahead for how it may impact your job and career.
Remind yourself that, although your life is changing in a huge way, you should focus on maintaining balance at work. Having one place or activity that centers you can make all the difference. Making your center your career can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by other changes in life.
As with burnout and seasonal changes, you can refocus on work during a big life change like getting married by better organizing, taking charge of your own schedule, and getting ahead. If you know you’ll need time off to handle your big life change, plan for it. Neglecting to do so will only cause additional stress.
Be Patient With Yourself
All in all, maintaining a work-life balance can be extremely difficult, especially if there’s something big going on in your life. Consider the tips mentioned here to help you focus. But, above all else, remember that you are human. It is possible that taking some time off or carving out some time for yourself is all you need to do to feel centered again.
This guest post was authored by Brooke Faulkner
Brooke Faulkner is a writer, mom and adventurer in the Pacific Northwest. She spends her days pondering what makes a good leader. And then dreaming up ways to teach these virtues to her sons, without getting groans and eye rolls in response.