If you are a busy person with a demanding job and family and friends who seek your time and attention, you are blessed, but only if you can handle it. Working from home can be beneficial, because you can maintain some control over your schedule. If you’re lucky, working from home may prevent burnout and contribute to workday balance.

 “To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” – Mother Teresa

However, some busy people feel guilty regardless of what they are doing. They may feel guilty spending time with friends and family because they are not getting work done. Likewise, when working intensely, they feel guilty because they’re not paying attention to others or taking good care of themselves. That feeling can lead to burnout when the stress lasts so long that your ability to function is impaired. We are entitled to have work that enriches and enlivens us; yes, there is more to a job than the payout. Is it unrealistic to seek less-tangible benefits like:

  • Trust
  • Respect
  • Autonomy
  • Civility
  • The opportunity to make a difference

Burnout has three critical components that amount to loss, and they are: exhaustion (energy), cynicism (enthusiasm) and inefficacy (self-confidence and capacity to perform). When we suffer a loss in these three sectors, we experience burnout.

We hear a lot about burnout within the healthcare sector. The demand on time and talent is extreme. When staffing is an issue, nurses work longer hours. When the economy is at an all-time low, nurses work additional hours or multiple jobs to make ends meet. This is true of many other industries as well.

Burnout can be prevented by following the advice of experts and those who have personally experienced burnout. The main point they make is that we benefit greatly by maintaining clear boundaries between our work lives and our personal lives. We can now add that we benefit by taking it one day at a time. Set boundaries…and do it now!

 “I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” – B. White