I just read this blog post from the Harvard Business Review, which discusses the perils of being so focused on one thing that it defines who you are. The post discusses it in the context of a career but it could so easily apply to any element.
For me, it’s definitely been my career that’s been that one thing. In my corporate days, I lived and breathed my job, even though countless people warned me about the related danger and risk of burn out. I started to see the same patterns repeat in my second career as faculty. It’s what happens when you love what you do.
This time though, thanks to a superb circle of people who care- my family, my friends at Skagit Valley College and beyond and a number of my program participants, I’ve caught myself. Realizing that I was falling into that swirling sink hole of working almost non stop and seeing the impact it was starting to have on my effectiveness as an instructor and on my relationships, I caught myself. I’ve pulled back the hours, redeployed some of that time for me and my interests : knitting, art, walking, reading, time with my loved ones including my Bandit. And guess what: by working less, because I’m rested and relaxed, I’m achieving more – funny that!
So what about you? How have you dealt with the risk of burn out? When do you see the signs of the slippery slope? How do bring yourself back?