Burning the Candle at Both Ends in HR

Human Resource professionals are people pleasers.  We want people to like us and truly never want to disappoint anyone.   We take on tasks and pile more than we should on our plate. When we say: “Yes” to everyone, we often disappoint more than we please.   The truth?  We aren’t super human.  We all have lives.  We have lives outside of work.  We become stressed.  We become anxious.  We get burned out. Why do we do this to ourselves?  Why do we constantly burden ourselves and try to do something we can’t.  We KNOW we can’t; yet we still say, “Yes”.

We all want to be successful.  We all want our clients to be satisfied with the results we deliver.  We want to feel like we add value to an organization.

Okay.  HR people. Stop.  Just stop.

Here are some things you can do to help alleviate stress that I have personally found helpful.

  1. Focus on the things you MUST do.  If you have a deadline at 5:00, before you say yes to anything else, get that done.
  2. Take the Unnecessary off your plate.  If you are doing something and it is not providing any VALUE to you, your company, or family, why do it?
  3. Make sure your time management skills are there.  If you have your day planned out and time allotted to do these things, you will always be more successful than if you go at any given day blindly.
  4. Give yourself some “You” time.  It may be sitting on the couch watching TV.  It may be a 30-minute run.  It may be spending an hour with your spouse or significant other.  It may be in prayer.  Whatever works, make sure you give yourself some time.
  5. Unplug.  It is so hard to unplug these days.  Smart phones and computer connectivity are everywhere.  Simply putting your phone in another room while you are having that “You” time will do wonders. It’s not enough to encourage your own workforce to take vacations, but it’s important that you do too.

Life is short.  We are busy.  We do want to be everything to everyone.  It doesn’t have to happen ALL the time.  We simply cannot do it all.  Say “No” once in a while.  It works.  Truly.

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Will Thomson

Will Thomson lives in Austin, Texas, and works for Rosetta Stone as the global sales and marketing recruiter. He has been in recruitment and sales for 20 years. He has recruited some of the most sought-after talent around the globe, and is a regular blogger for the recruitment industry. Connect with Will.

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  1. Judy says

    Not sure about others, but for me, I am burning candle at both ends because my leadership team’s failure to plan becomes my emergency towards the end of every day when they finally get around to “HR stuff”. I am good at planning my day and my activities but rarely is my schedule my own to manage to the degree necessary to reduce the stress/burnout.


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