Be Brilliant - Proving the Hypothesis: Exhausting Trying to Keep Pace
Not many people would argue that the pace of life has slowed down over the past century. Humans face chronic exhaustion from the pressures to keep up with social and work expectations. This mental, emotional and physical exhaustion interferes with the ability to work effectively and can result in burnout in the workplace.
SOCIAL AND HOME LIFE PRESSURE
- Qualitative evidence points to the fact that humans are faced with the need to be "good enough", or measure up to some external metric that defines a worthwhile life.
- Life experiences and internal emotions create the idea that there is something wrong with the person rather than with the environment around the person. There is increasing pressure to be better, and a resulting lack of satisfaction with self.
- The curated content found everyday on social media allows opportunities for people to compare and contrast their lives with the lives of others. By constantly making comparison to unrealistic expectations, and finding themselves lacking, humans compound the feeling that they are not "good enough".
- Social media use, the most common way of keeping up with other's lives, has been linked to increased depression and loneliness. Subjective reporting on satisfaction with one's life decreased as time on Facebook increased. Another study of teen use of social media confirmed that less time spent on social media correlated with less reported loneliness and depression.
- FOMO, standing for Fear of Missing Out, is an extension of human need for love and social acceptance. With the rise of social media's obiquitousness and the ability to constantly compare ourselves, there is increased mental health concerns leading to emotional exhaustion.
WORK LIFE PRESSURE
- To keep pace with technological changes and changes in work expectations, work has crept into personal lives. Smart phones, easy access to emails and never "unplugging" means it's easier for work to be done outside of the office during hours typically reserved for home life. This has led to work intensification and longer work hours.
- "The 2019 Sleep in America poll shows a strong correlation between sleep schedule consistency and feeling well-rested the following morning. When contrasting the most disciplined sleepers to those with the most variable sleep schedules, those with the strictest schedules were nearly 1.5 times more likely to report feeling well-rested." The inability to unplug from work, remote work that can be done at any hour, and communication that keep us engaged at all hours interferes with sleep schedules, leaving American exhausted physically.
EXHAUSTION LEADS TO BURNOUT
- Burnout is defined as " a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed." Burnout is exclusive from other mental health concerns such as adjustment disorder, stress, anxiety or mood disorders.
- Burnout is associated with the following symptoms: "overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of cynicism and detachment from the job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment".
- The chances of burnout increase when expectations are unrealistic, employees don't feel "good enough'', employees aren't in a job that is a good fit for them, and they feel underappreciated. The risk of burnout increases for overachievers.
- As the gig economy increases, flexible work arrangements become more normal, and social media-type platforms such as Slack become increasingly popular, the pressures and stress from home life have found a way to creep into work life increasing the odds of burnout.