I took a week and half off work.
Well, actually I’ll be honest. My boss offered me a week off because they noticed I was suffering from early signs of burn out.
I’ve been back at work since the 10th of Feb, so just under two weeks and it’s been a really interesting transition.
Immediately I noticed that because I wasn’t so under the pump upon returning (customer service is currently being covered by a friend of Leonie’s and mine, yay! friends!) I had lost an edge.
For the last four months, the pressure of knowing that there were people; clients and customers, waiting on me to answer their emails was my main motivator.
“I have to login, answer everyone as quickly and professionally as I can, then get everything else on my to-do list done as well.”Me, foolishly burning out and not realising
Now that the pressure was lifted because someone else had it covered, I felt as though my motivation fuel tank was empty.
I immediately messaged my boss and was like “can you tell me which tasks are high priority? I have all this time now and I want to make sure I’m using it for you and your biz wisely!”
That was step one. I thrive when I have extrinsic motivation.
Whilst I was waiting for that, I dedicated my time towards education.
I’ve also been reading More Words That Sell by Richard Bayan.
I’m diving more and more into copywriting & marketing; this has been a wonderful resource.
But even with all that; with external accountability, re-prioritising tasks and fun education, I still felt a bit unmotivated.
I knew it was a combination of still being on the tail end of burn out, and the ever so fun delights of having ADHD.
So I needed to get creative.
First up, I rearranged my side of the office and then I changed up my desk layout.
This freshened things up a bit, which in turn made me want to sit at my desk more.
Next up! A feeling of collaboration.
The tricky thing with working remotely from home is the occasional feeling of isolation (something I think most people can empathise with after the last year).
I share an office with my housemate but most of the time we’re in here at different times.
So I found this Youtube channel.
As I type right now, I’ve had a 4 hour study with me running in the background, complete with the sound of rain.
Seeing someone else be productive plus getting reminders for breaks is unbelievably helpful.
Lastly, changing my schedule. For the last year I have jumped into work pretty much upon waking. Then I’d work from 8am-12pm, with essentially no breaks.
In the past I’ve found task switching or restarting after breaks too difficult to manage. My ADHD wants me one-track minded, get everything done in one hit etc.
But now I’m switching it up!
I’m spending an hour when I wake up just pottering around.
This morning I got dressed, had a cuppa, put some laundry on and returned my library books. THEN I started work.
I also took a lunch break (45 whole minutes omfg) to actually, ya know, eat something and say goodbye to my brother who’s heading up to uni.
I then went back to work for my hour and a half.
And it’s funny, because I always thought that if I dragged my work day out like this I would be less productive and potentially trigger pain flares. But actually, for today at least, I feel like I’ve achieved more, both with work and my personal life.
I’ve even managed to write this blog post after finishing work instead falling into bed with a cuppa tea and some Yo-Yo biscuits.
Change can be good. It can be necessary.
See you next time!