Walk­ing the talk

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS -

At this time of year we should all have a spring in our steps, but look around the of­fice and you see the op­po­site. Feet are drag­ging. At­ti­tudes are sour­ing. Ask some­one how their day’s go­ing and you’re likely to get an eye roll and some in­co­her­ent mut­ter­ing about a cer­tain col­league and the law of karma.

Win­ter has beaten us down, left its muddy foot­print on our hearts. Of­fi­cially it’s been spring for weeks, but every­one knows the first part of this sea­son sucks. It fools you into wear­ing a T-shirt, then buf­fets you from all sides with icy winds. It’s al­ways some an­noy­ing per­son’s birth­day.

And then there’s the work it­self. There’s too much of it. There’s a to-do list growing like a nox­ious weed. The words on the list are scram­bled. You try to make sense of them – you can’t. You’ve lost your mind!

It’s called burnout, where ex­haus­tion leads to feel­ings of in­ef­fec­tive­ness (and per­haps ac­tual in­ef­fec­tive­ness) and it’s on the rise. Last week, our colum­nist Dr Lucy Hone told us how to recog­nise the signs. This week she gives ad­vice for com­bat­ing it. (Es­sen­tially: go home, turn off your phone, do some­thing other than work, for chris­sakes.)

Through­out the year Lucy has shared with us her knowl­edge as a re­searcher into re­silience and well­be­ing. She has a busi­ness ad­vis­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions on how to cul­ti­vate these qual­i­ties for greater pro­duc­tiv­ity, achieve­ment and good times all around. And busi­ness is good – too good. Writ­ing the col­umn on top of meet­ing her many speak­ing and teach­ing de­mands has be­come un­re­al­is­tic, and so Lucy is easing up her work­load before she loses her pas­sion for what she does. Which means to­day’s col­umn on page 24 is her last.

So farewell Lucy. Thanks for all the great ad­vice. I did get in touch to get a part­ing com­ment from you but your au­tore­ply said you were tak­ing a week’s hol­i­day. Good to see you walk­ing your talk.

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