Bad things happen to good people when they reach their work limits: Cool heads detonate, steel nerves melt, grown adults travel backward through time. Unless you want to find out what childish breakdowns you are still capable of staging, get a handle on your workload.
“One of the basic feelings behind being overworked is a lack of control, like you’re no longer in the driver’s seat,” says career guru and psychology professor Christiane Turnheim. “When you feel that way, try to get back in control of your work. See if there’s a possibility to restructure or delegate some of it.”
A roomier deadline, she notes, can ease you back toward sanity. So can a roomier workplace — whether that be an afternoon at a public library or a streetside bistro. “Changing your job location can really work,” says Barbara Glanz, author of “Care Packages for the Workplace.”
So can a quick trip away from the grind, she adds.
“Take a five-minute vacation,” she recommends. “Go to the washroom and go to the Bahamas for five minutes. You can do anything you want in your head.”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by work, try cooling down by taking care of yourself. “When your energy is low, go buy yourself a treat,” Glanz encourages. “Have fun with it. Send yourself some flowers.”
A catastrophic day is likely to fade into tomorrow’s distant memory if your afterwork agenda includes “a healthy diet, lots of sleep and exercise,” Turnheim advises. “A healthy diet will protect you from getting sick from the stress, which will only break you down further.”