Do you remember when the pundits claimed technology would make our lives easier, that we should expect technology to create a more hands-off work environment and more relaxed lifestyle? The advent of things like text messaging and social media have not always done so. In our brave new world, technology has created a smaller vacuum where everyone’s life feels like it is on display. Career-wise, technology often gives us more to deal with, from fixing computer hardware malfunctions to trying to figure out why company website uploads take too much time.
According to Social Media Today, the average person spends an astonishing 116 minutes per day on social media sites. Statistica recently released a report stating the number of electronic devices owned per person will exceed six by 2020, which would see the total number of worldwide devices hitting the 50 billion mark. The same is true in the office, where we are inundated with new technology that often brings with it a steep learning curve or a breakdown of productivity preceding its – admittedly numerous – benefits.
While it may seem like technology itself is the culprit behind tech burnout, the real issue is how we use the technology tools that were designed to make our lives much easier.
Let’s take a look at how you can avoid tech burnout.
Take Tech Breaks
You do not need a scientist to tell you that sitting in front of a computer monitor all day long is bad for your mental and physical health. Most professionals are required to work with technology tools in order to enhance productivity. But sometimes the best way to squeeze more productivity out of your workday is to stop being a slave to technology. Take short breaks throughout the day to refresh your focus and energy.
Turn off Communication Devices
We get that you have to keep your phone on at work, but when the workday ends, turn off all communication devices to give yourself some quiet time. There is no need to text your way through the evening or access your Facebook page via a Smartphone app. If technology rules your workdays, you have to get away from all the digital noise and spend some time interacting with people and animals in person. This means you must develop the ability to say “No” to the addiction of staying connected all day digitally with friends, family members, and professional peers – no matter how busy things are in the office.
Instead of Burnout, Burn Stress
Exercise cures plenty of what ails us at work. Whether you pump iron or take a ride on a stationary bike, our bodies release unhealthy stress hormones. Working out is much more than a means of burning calories. When you follow a consistent exercise regimen you will notice a marked improvement in your mood as well. Exercise is a great way to invigorate a stressed out body and mind – and to relieve tension from the dreaded iHunch.
Much of tech burnout is the result of repetition. You might work all day creating customer databases for use by the sales team, or monitoring social media sites to communicate with customers about products and services. Whatever the reason for tech repetitiveness, you need to find a way to diversify your workload. Change up your daily work routine to avoid the burnout associated with performing the same work every day.
Find Things to Do Outside of Work
Sometimes, it is not enough to turn off all the electronic devices you own. You also have to, as they say, “Get a life.” One of the biggest reasons for professional burnout is the lack of a social life outside the office. This is especially true for professionals who work in IT-related fields. Dive into a new hobby, join a recreational softball team, or simply make time for family activities to take your focus off spreadsheets and cloud servers.
Find a New Job
If technology triggers the stressors that make you dislike your work, the time has come to search for a job that energizes you. Information technology professionals should remain in high demand for years to come. You can even start a consulting business and enjoy the excitement each day brings because you call the shots on how you handle technology workloads.
One last kernel of wisdom: Do not make tech changes just because the newest gadget has hit the market or “the other guys are doing it.” Part of our technology burnout problem stems from constantly having to learn new systems. Keep what you have a little longer to reduce the stress that leads to tech burnout.
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