Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s not urgent, and to create a culture where you are constantly plugged in and expected to be always-on is to create a culture of burnout. Arianna Huffington
If you try to do everything yourself, you will end up doing 2 or 3 jobs and having working all day and all night. Eventually you stop and ask, why am I working so hard, all it gets me is more work.
Deadlines create stress or having more work than you can do. The common solution is to out work the problem, to keep up with the increased workload. This is a temporary solution which treats the symptoms but not the root cause. Working extra hours to solve a problem is not sustainable and eventually leads to burnout.
IT projects involve many people working for weeks or months. It requires creativity, people, collaborating, teamwork and hard work, you need to be refreshed, rested and spend time with your family/friends.
Creativity focuses on quantity and quality, come up with lots of ideas (good and bad) before selecting a good one. You don’t create one great idea, create multiple ideas to get to the good idea.
projects involve deciding and problem solving, this involves interacting with people with different knowledge, perspective and ideas.
You won’t be consistently effective in your work day if you are tired at the start of your day. If you don’t stop working at night and make time for rest/relaxation then you will burnout.
Projects are marathons, if you try to sprint a marathon you won’t finish the race. Project are about making steady progress, making decisions, resolving problems and creating. Aim for high-quality work, not high quantity
If you are experience high levels of stress and overworking, you need to reflect and look at the system you are working in. the work you are responsible for and other people do the work they are responsible for. If you try and do your work and someone else’s the quality of your work will drop, you will miss things and you will have someone on your team who is doing half a job.
It’s important to address this situation because you will eventually burn out and it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone is doing the work required from them. Give them the opportunity to improve and do the work or replace them. It's demoralizing for the people on the project to see some members of the team doing a half speed, whilst others working double speed. Projects are a team effort and it needs everyone to do the work their roles require for the individual parts to make a greater whole.
I was in this situation where I was always to busy to finish all the work I had to do and tried to out work the problem. I found trying to out work the problem doesn’t solve it, it just delays the time until you need to make a change.
I realised the people on my team could do the work, so why was I trying to do everything? I wasn’t good at delegating work and if I wanted to scale the work I delivered, I had to work on improving my delegation skills.
“If I can delegate, I should delegate” HoskWisdom
It took me a while to improve delegation skills but it got me more time and help the people on my team grow and improve. When delegating “Be precise in your request, say what you need and when you need it”. If you the request is ambiguous and contains assumption then the task might not be done the way you want it.
Burnout can be hard to spot, it happens to effective and successful people; they keep being assigned more work because they deliver quality work to deadlines.
Individuals don’t deliver projects, teams do. It’s a short-term solution which will eventually lead to the person burning out and their quality of life of slowly deteriorating. The person burning out needs help from the team to take the load off them and sometimes they will resist because they will feel they are being punished or they are letting the team down.
If it’s yourself, you need to reflect on your workload and look start to delegate.
The effects of burnout leads to a break down or moving from the project or the company. Overworking leads to the quality of life reducing, it doesn’t matter how much money you earn if you never have time to spend it. Over working can have serious effects on the life outside of work with missing family occasions to partners leaving.