And you beat it by knowing what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.” – Marissa Mayer
I recently stumbled upon a great Businessweek article here from Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer. In it, she talks about the importance of knowing what matters to you in your non-work life (she calls it finding your rhythm). Mayer postulates that when we have to give up that which is precious to us for our jobs, we eventually come to resent the work that we’re doing.
Having gone through several periods of burnout throughout my professional career, the truth behind these words resonated with me. I have had roles where it was routine for me to clock out after 9 hours, and roles where it was rare for me to leave before putting in 11 or 12.
What my experiences here have taught me is that there is little correlation between how many hours I work and how energized I am by my job: Burnout is something that happens to me not when I am working long hours, but rather at times when a combination of personal and professional commitments prevent me from partaking in those activities which are most precious to me.
With that said, as we get started this week I would ask you to think about the reasons you work. What do you most look forward to? Is it Friday poker games with friends? Your kid’s weekend soccer games? Perhaps it’s a favorite TV show or a morning routine. Whatever that is, hold onto it. Make it sacred.
It will make you a much better performer at work, and also a much happier human being.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.