This little contribution check-in will help you avoid continual burnout, while also supporting your workplace wellness every day.
At times with multiple deadlines, or one really big one, it’s easy to anticipate that your contribution rate will naturally increase. However, contribution goes far beyond the ups, downs, and flatline of your workload. Contribution is about the total amount of emotional, mental and physical effort you dedicate to your working life… whether you are in the office or not.
Taking this holistic approach to contribution and actively being mindful of it will support you in achieving your peak performance levels every day, while also helping you to avoid burnout.
An easy way to assess and monitor your contribution rate is by keeping a contribution graph. Here’s how to get started:
- Along the y axis sits the approximate time (hours) you dedicate a week (or month), and along the x axis is the three elements of contribution – emotional, mental and physical.
- Now think back to three weeks ago (or three months ago, depending on what metric you are using) and rate the total time each of the three elements contributed towards your work. Remembering that most of us think of work long after we’ve ‘signed-off’. Now repeat this for each of the past two weeks (or months), until you are up to the present week (or month).
- Notice any patterns? Before becoming too alarmed, look at each peak (or constantly high flat-line) and make note of: the contributing factors that caused these, any self-learnings you had during this period, and if any of the factors you’ve identified were in your control.
Here’s a few examples:
- Anxiety, was there a project, colleague interaction/observation or opportunity that you couldn’t get out of your mind, which set off your anxiety and caused your mental contribution to work overtime? If so, is there anything you could have implemented that helps you manage or work with (rather than against) your anxiety? If not, next time you start to feel anxious commit to trying a new technique, such as mindfulness activities, movement or music.
- Low energy:
- Physically, was there a project or opportunity that resulted in long hours, with little to no energy left for anything else? If so, is there anything you could have done to better support yourself during this period? A few examples may include nutrition, movement, level of social commitments, and asking for support.
- Emotionally, were there interactions with a colleague, or number of colleagues, that you found emotionally draining? Or are you too emotionally invested in a project? What is it about these interactions or project that made you feel drained? Is there anything you could have done to reduce the impact of these? For example, raise the issue with your manager, HR department or someone else you trust; separate personal from professional (easier said than done); incorporate more meditation, yoga, or other forms of relaxation into your day/week?
By checking-in and keeping track of your contribution rate, you’ll not only support your own professional development, you’ll also support your entire team in achieving peak performance and business success.