Say you're drowning in work. There's lo-fi wireframes that are due in an hour. Another client is beating at your door. Your backlog is getting bigger and bigger. You're stressed, strung out. Even burnt out. Or maybe not.
What if there was another way to look at? What if burned out wasn't about our workload? About the long hours we put into our projects? What if something else was really going on? Marissa Mayer, a vice president at Google, is calling burnout out. Here's what she said in a recent talk:
Burnout is about resentment. It's about knowing what matters to you so much that if you don't get it that you're resentful.
Seems Marissa doesn't really believe in burnout. She's never been burned out by all the thousands of hours she's poured into Google.
For her, it's not about making sure you eat three square meals a day or get a good eight hours of sleep. After all, a lot of people worked hard for decades, such as Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein, she says. We even add Steve Jobs to that list.
Now don't get Marissa wrong, she isn't saying that you shouldn't have passion, investing yourself into your craft, your ideas. What she's talking about here is 'finding your rhythm,' balancing work and play. Making time for those things that have extreme personal meaning for you outside of your work.
Keep Your Rhythm
When writing about Marissa's talk, HuffPo's Callie Schweitzer put it best:
'If Joe needs to pick up his kids every day at 6 p.m., don't make him late. She described the moment a child sees a parent walk in late to a recital, and there were heads nodding in the audience. Don't be the cause of that.
That's something we very much believe in at ZURB. We have flexible scheduling. After all, things come up every now and then. It's one of those perks that keeps us ZURBians happy and productive. And Marissa's approach to a healthy 'life rhythm' got us talking around the office. Here's what a few of us had to say:
The thing that matters most to me outside of work is 'Magic: The Gathering' because it is a huge source of friends, travel and extra money for me. I believe that it directly helps me at ZURB because it has taught me to be resilient enough to know that one failure doesn't mean it's time to go back to the drawing board, giving me the confidence to get back up and try again.Louis, customer service advocate
I'm a huge foodie, so I love dining out at some of the latest and greatest restaurants to eat things I normally would never try. I also just moved out to a place of my own, so being able to live that way is pretty awesome. Aside from getting a paycheck from ZURB to fund these things, it's the fact that I'm able to do rewarding work that keeps me motivated and productive. I'm not sitting at my desk waiting for the day to end; rather, I'm having fun, growing a lot and surrounding myself with a team that's as excited as I am to do the things we do.Anthony, designer
I don't know if I agree with Marissa. For me, it's all about having balance in life ' you work hard for everything, but not one thing the entire time. There are three things that keep me sane: my family, my work and my dancing. Family time is very important, but I also need a break from that, which I find in work that I love. And just as work gets overwhelming, I get a break at the dance studio. Balance!Alina, designer
Sure, it may sound like a cliche — a 'work-life' balance. But it can be deadly crucial in keeping resentment and burnout at bay. How do you keep your work-life balance? How do you keep from getting burnout and resentful as Marissa suggests?