For all the flack young people get about being lazy and entitled, they sure do work a lot.
One study by Manpower Group found that 73% of millennials reported that they work over 40 hours a week, with nearly one in four saying they worked over 50 hours a week.
Many young people working in competitive environments face major work-life challenges. In order to avoid burning out, 20-somethings must advocate for a sustainable work-life balance, even if it means changing how they think about work itself.
Here are some tips on adopting productive workplace habits to avoid the dreaded quarter-life crisis.
Saying “no” to more work in order to get ahead at work sounds counterintuitive.
Plus, young people often feel pressured to accept any and all assignments in order to impress their colleagues and prove their worth.
Her advice focuses on young women, but her solutions to combatting burnout are universal.
However, setting boundaries is crucial to success. People who say no to smaller projects have more time to work on the important tasks and maintain healthy social lives outside of work.
So, if it’s your first week in your new job, obviously don’t decline an assignment out of hand. But if you’ve been at your position for some time and have proven your worth and value, don’t be afraid to say no to the busy work in order to focus on the larger assignments.
Talk to your boss
That being said, Pierson notes that creating workload boundaries is definitely easier said than done. Young people in competitive workplace environments might worry that declining certain tasks comes across as lazy or weak.
That’s why it’s important to get your boss on your team.
Find a way to tell them that you’re now striving to work smarter, not harder. Any good boss would support your effort to improve your efficiency by cutting down on busy work.
ClearSlide CEO Dustin Grosse tells Business Insider that it’s important for employers to create an “… ‘open door’ office policy that creates a level of dialogue between newer employees and veteran employees that helps younger people feel more engaged and involved. That results in people feel they can make a bigger impact at the company.”
Track your productivity
Once you’ve started implementing your new anti-burn-out system, it’s important that you put it to the test, writes Pierson.
Your overall productivity on important tasks should actually increase as you avoid time-consuming busy work.
This should boost your confidence and encourage you to stick with the plan.
Have realistic expectations
Grosse says that it’s important that younger employees maintain realistic expectations about entering the workplace.
He noted that many workers in their 20s believe they will be looking for jobs within the first few years of joining a company. Grosse says that’s more important for young workers to seek great mentorship and coaching at the start of their careers. He also says that it’s important for organizations to provide its younger employees with such resources.
“By doing that, you can actually prevent them from burning out and actually set up an environment around retention of talent,” Grosse says.
Get out of the office
It’s crucial to establish and stick to a strict schedule, according to Pierson.
Get yourself into the habit of leaving at a certain time every day. Make appointments so you’re forced you to leave. And make sure to log out of your work email once you’re out the door. Don’t bring the office home with you.