When the Covid pandemic first hit, people, especially those ordinary ones who are
not doctors or scientists, had no idea what to expect. As lockdown after lockdown
was imposed, the sense that things had taken a turn for the worse was
overwhelming. Families were, and still are, torn apart by restrictions. Businesses are
still trying to get back on their feet, amid controversies surrounding vaccine
mandates and severe staff shortages.
It is very easy, during this time, to throw yourself headfirst in your job. And some
would even argue that it makes sense, considering how unstable the economy is and
probably will be for a while yet. Working from home is the new normal, even in South
Africa. But this has also caused another problem to again rear its ugly head:
Burnout.
If fear of losing your job during these uncertain times has made you work even
longer hours and put in even more effort, it is time to take a step back and re-
evaluate where you’re headed. Yes, having a job and a career is important, but
measuring success against only your job title and salary is a sure-fire recipe for
disaster.
It may seem counter-intuitive, considering the situation the world finds itself in, but
it’s time to stop being the job. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I working towards?
  • Am I neglecting my physical and mental health for the sake of my job?
  • Am I neglecting my family for the sake of my job?
  • Do I have enough free time to recharge and rejuvenate after long work-related
    periods of stress?
  • Do I even like what I do?
    Based on the truthful answers to these questions, you can start to carve out a better
    measure of success for yourself this coming year. Take into consideration the free
    time you have every day or every week. Are you missing important events in your
    children’s lives? In your partner’s life? It may not seem like a big deal at first, but
    conflict always arises out of situations like this, which in turn will affect your mental
    health.
    If you’re neglecting your physical health because you’re in front of your computer or
    in the office at all hours of the day, sooner or later it will catch up to you.
    Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, if you don’t even like what you do and simply
    do it because you have to earn money, this will likely take an even greater toll on
    your mental state. If there is no joy, no satisfaction, no goal, no purpose in your daily
    tasks, it is time to reset and regroup. Change your mindset in 2022 and start working
    towards a purpose. Balancing your work life and personal life will go a long way in
    establishing your unique purpose. And the first step towards this goal is realising and
    remembering every day that YOU are more than your job.
    Once you start doing that, you will find yourself feeling freer than ever before and
    ready to take on whatever this new year throws at you.

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