4 Signs You Might Be A Work Zombie

 In Leadership, Stress, Time Management

There is an intense focus that sets in when we have a deadline or are putting on a huge event or working to complete a large project. Nothing else seems to matter and our body, mind and spirit are consumed with the result. When focused like this the work, while consuming, is almost joyful. When the case is settled or the meeting is over there is a celebration and then rest and then the cycle can begin again. But what if there is no celebration and no rest and the projects are piled-on and overlapping and everyday work feels like it requires a marathon of effort with no rest? The answer is we become work zombies.

4 signs you might be a work zombie

  1. You are always, always, always at work.
  2. You are cranky toward others but you think you are behaving normally.
  3. You are haggard, sleep deprived and eat crappy food (and it shows).
  4. Nothing seems fun or fascinating.

Short bouts of intense work can be very productive and are a great habit (I call them power days) but a long string of continuous, constant work actually start to work against you from a productivity perspective.  When you work without rest, breaks and a change of scenery you deny yourself access to the problem solving machine that is your brain and you increase your chance or errors and poor decision making which can cost you more than just time in the future.  If you think you might be a work zombie realize that over-work is a habit just like any other and it takes some awareness to correct. The solution is not simply time off—it is time away from the work, during the normal work cycle, so that you can get perspective, regain your vision (why am I doing this? what do I want to achieve here?) and make some plans. Try the less-is-more concept as an experiment for a month. You can always go back to being a zombie later.

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” –Bruce Lee

Coaching assignment: Open your calendar and schedule something that truly brings you joy within the next 7 days. Then consider that item sacred in your schedule and do it.

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