Lately, I've made it a point to not over exert myself with my job. Yes, overachieving is great and all. Maybe it reflects good on you in your boss's eyes but in my job, it can lead to what they typically call social work "burnout." A little over one year of being a degreed Social Worker, being burned out is not a good thing. Maslach and Leiter define burnout as: "the index of the dislocation between what people are and what they have to do. It represents an erosion of values, dignity, spirit and will-- an erosion of the human soul. It is a malady that spreads gradually and continuously over time, putting people into a downward spiral."
So why do Social Workers get burned out so easily? Well... crazy work hours and intense workdays (check!), mismanagement (check!), schedule imbalances (check!), chronic fear of downsizing (check!), lack of appreciation (check!), personal risk, office and inter-agency policies, and lack of professional projects (uhh.. I need less projects lol).
Needless to say, I've been striving to not work more than 40 hours a week. I need me time. I need time to spend with my husband, my dogs and time to exercise. I had an appointment scheduled at 5pm tonight. My appointments generally last one hour. This would have put me at about 42 hours. Luckily, my appointment cancelled on me due to my foster teen being on the "run." Though him running is not a good thing, I feel somewhat releaved that I don't have to work late. Is that horrible of me?
What do you do to avoid burnout with your work? (Work can be being a full time parent and student too!)