Lena tells the story:
– I was worried about one of our clients and sent an email to check in:
I visited some of your colleagues yesterday and thought of you. How are you?
Work is important but what is more important is you. There is no need for you to answer my email, I just wanted to let you know that I’m here for you in case you need to discuss you work practice/approach. I do understand your current work load so please see this note as a kind reminder of what you already know- a possible burnout does no good to anyone. Many in your organization already show early signs of exhaustion and unfortunately we see it happening in many of the companies we collaborate with. It is not unusual, since the workload we often are faced with today, rarely is adapted to our biological functions.
I hope you get the chance to recover this week end.
The reply below made me more than happy. The client had not only realized IT IS possible to make responsible changes to the way we work, but also stressed down enough to prioritize life!
Thank you for your email,
Since we last met, I have acted on and implemented changes to my work practice. I had to. For some time, my pulse had been too high, I felt nauseous and it started to affect my sleep at night (which was new to me).
As you probably noticed my email now sends out automated replies, if I’m fully booked in my calendar that day. This week it says that I am unavailable Monday and Tuesday and will reply on Wednesday. It feels great to know that I don’t have to reply those days. I am always reachable over the phone in case it’s urgent, but as it turns out, nothing ever seems to be that urgent. I also made time to move several meetings and activities into the future, and gladly, it was accepted, and my calendar looks somewhat lighter.
I also had a meeting with my boss last Monday and it feels very good. My boss helped me prioritize a few tasks which resulted in a cancelled planning trip, and now I can focus more on the training my employer expects me to manage alongside with my work. When it comes to my studies I have realized, that I will not be able to get the results I would have wanted, but I accept the fact that I initially might have to deliver unfinished assignments, and hand in completions at a later stage.
The method of clearing my email inbox, seeing my schedule in my cellphone, doing the weekly review and more, has helped me immensely and I use it more and more. I also find myself being more clear when it comes to communicating expected deadlines, both coming from me and to me.
In other words, I work hard on feeling better and yes, I shut down my laptop last weekend and enjoyed being outdoors together with my family, taking in the fresh air of the mountains. I have freed several coming Saturdays and Sundays, and I do not intend to work weekends anymore for a long time. I Have to take back my free time and fill it with recovery and quality time with my family, what is lost will never come back.
Once again, thank you so much for your help and your email.