Blog | Walsworth

Wearing Too Many Hats? Tips on Avoiding Burnout

Written by Christoph Sisson | November 12, 2014

Whether your main gig is app creator, order fulfillment manager, copy editor or content marketing maven, chances are high you have dozens of other duties that go with that primary title. And that’s just the stuff you do at work. Mix in your responsibilities at home, with your kids, in the community and that elusive thing called a social life, and overload becomes the norm.

That overload is not a surprise, considering the numerous hats Time Management Ninja points out most of us wear. These include hats connected to:

  • Your day job: Your main responsibility at work is your big work hat.
  • Your collateral duties: These little work hats consist of all the other duties that fell on your lap due to layoffs and budget cuts.
  • Your home life: You can have handfuls of hats at home, from the dog walker to the cleaning person, from the cook to the home repair expert.
  • Your kids: Soccer mom, baseball dad, your hats change with each of your kids’ activities.
  • Your community involvement: Church, associations and volunteering give you a few more hats in your lineup.
  • Your other stuff: Here come the hats for hobbies, socialization and all other things that don’t fit up above.

Since growing another head to accommodate all these hats isn’t a feasible solution, you need another way to survive without going nuts or burning out.

Survival Tips
Here are a few tips on avoiding burnout that can also increase office productivity and boost employee morale.

  • List your hats: Putting all your responsibilities down on paper is an ideal starting point for getting your hat count under control. The Huffington Post suggests dividing the paper into two columns. On the left, list all your hats. On the right, list the time each takes on a weekly basis.
  • Rank your priorities: Review your list, ranking each entry by its importance to you. You may be shocked to see the least important tasks are the ones that gobble up most of your time.
  • Reduce your hat count: Saying “no” to new hats can be a tough call, but it can also be a necessary one. You may also want to cut back on the number of hats you are already perching on your head. Is there a role or duty you could eliminate? Can someone else clean the carpets or walk the dog?
  • Delegate work responsibilities: You can’t very well outsource your work tasks, but you may be able to delegate some of your rote administrative duties. Don’t have the budget for an assistant? Try an intern that works for school credit or a virtual assistant that works by the hour.
  • Automate and outsource: Content marketing mavens may already know about the joy of automation, with plenty of free tools that can simplify your emailing, web monitoring and social media management. If feasible, outsource home tasks by hiring a cleaning service or dog walker to free up your time for other things.
  • Utilize tech tools: Read my Techy Ways to Increase Productivity article to identify ways to help your business and staff to streamline work, make tasks more efficient, and limit employee discomfort to increase office productivity.
  • Add one special hat moving forward: Review your updated list, making a schedule for next week’s activities. And then do something that sounds drastic: add in one more hat. This hat, however, is one that is especially for you. Schedule in personal time for yourself every week going forward. This is your time to read a novel, schedule a haircut or sit in a hammock if that’s what you choose. Downtime is imperative for survival, and this is one hat you’ll be gleeful to wear.

You may still end up with a number of hats to wear, but your overall load will be lighter. And you may even find yourself once again having fun.