This week my computer charger stopped working. On Monday morning, I was just 74% battery charge away from needing a new Apple MagSafe 2 power adapter thanks to our new kitten and his needle teeth. After traipsing through stores with no luck, I realized two things: my computer is going to die before I can buy a new power adapter, and my personal battery is drained.
Being part of a small business is invigorating on most days; new opportunities, partnerships, and connections abound. But for those same reasons small business can be draining. Having a literal broken charger led me to reflect on what I needed to do to get both my computer and myself fully charged.
Why It Matters
Research shows that we’re burnt out at work – and when we’re burnt out, we’re more likely to make mistakes and treat coworkers poorly, and we’re less able to problem solve or brainstorm creative solutions.
American companies are seeing huge issues related to burnout—Americans often forgo up to half of their vacation days because they’re concerned about appearing committed, they’re pushing the average workweek from 40 hours to upwards of 47 hours/week. All this adds up to serious issues related to burnout.
Game Plan: Recharging at Work
STEP ONE: Big-Picture View
First, I called my friend Sam. Sam worked with me in a previous role and she just gets me. Talking to her about what was going on at Reify helped me realize the big impact our company is making.
Battery Life 30%.
STEP TWO: Creative Outlet
After chatting with Sam, I stepped out of my typical Business Development role and wrote this blog. I needed a creative outlet, and sharing stories is something I enjoy. After talking the idea out with Sarah G, I could feel my battery ticking upwards.
Battery Life 60%.
STEP THREE: Feed Soul
The next step for me: networking with some friends of Reify. In my personal life, I thrive from serving others. It’s no different in my work life. The thrill of connecting folks or helping someone talk through a dilemma feeds my soul and replenishes my lagging battery. (I know friends who feed their souls with a good book, a long run, or a loud concert—it all depends on what recharges you.)
Battery life 80%.
STEP FOUR: Me Time
At Reify I spend 18 hours each week dedicated to growing our business. The other hours of my week are spent caring for a very busy 15-month old. My low battery may just be from lack of personal space and time. I am fortunate to work for an employer who will support the need for mental health days whenever I deem them necessary. I took a day and focused on disconnecting.
Battery Life 100%.
What do you do to keep your battery charged?