Using IT Managed Services to Avoid Burnout
Article By: Rich Silva – Founder – Pain Point IT Solutions, Inc.
We’ve all been there. Yes, even I. Whether you run your own company or work as a part of a team, burnout can occur when you pile too many simple tasks onto your already busy schedule. The problem with this thinking is that while you may be able to create a large list of check boxes that you initially intend to keep up with; reality is that at some point you run out of time to do all of them and then need to make some decisions on what is important and what is not. Then the question becomes why were the “not so important” things put on the list in the first place. Once things become “not so important”, eventually they get taken off the list. I’ve talked with a lot of potential and current clients who have haphazardly determined that since their data backups were working last time they checked, they must be now. Same with their “simple” task of reviewing their Anti-Virus server or spoon-fed e-mail reports of such. Why not outsource these simple functions to an IT professional dedicated to making sure these are working for you and your organization AT ALL TIMES and will work to make sure if they are not working, the issue is resolved ? Here are some suggestions that I have found have helped me to avoid burnout.
1) Visualize all that you have taken on
Create a spreadsheet or list of the areas of responsibility you have at your workplace on any given day or week. Then next to the list, write in the amount of hours spent on each task and add up the numbers. Don’t forget to factor in travel time, and the occasional “walk-by” distraction when someone sees you on the way to the task and pulls you into their office for a quick question. Be honest and you’ll see that you need to work over 60 hours a week to get everything done.
2) Set your priorities
Use a planner or calendar to take those items on the list and prioritize them; all of them. What you are likely to find is that the items that could potentially cause your list of tasks to grow such as items that challenge you, or items that take the most time end up on the bottom of the list. The low hanging fruit, or things that you are confident will cause you the least tension or resistance end up on the top of the list. After all, who doesn’t want to leave each day feeling they accomplished their top priorities. So why not make the top ones, the easiest to accomplish.
3) Outsource or Automate
Now look at your list, starting from the bottom up and determine what you can outsource or automate. Here is where my IT Managed Services plug comes in. If you are responsible for swapping tapes, or swapping drives and tend to avoid it because you’re afraid you might discover there is a lurking problem that you know will detract you from getting to the items on the top of your list; you will. I see this way too much out there and it’s scary. The company produces one thing each and every day and that is DATA, yet too often responsibility of managing that data is left to staff that have this on the bottom half of their list. Outsource or automate things on the bottom half of your list.
Get yourself out of the mindset and off your high horse that if you don’t do it, no one can or will. There are plenty of people in your organization and outside your organization that you can assign things on the bottom half of your list to. Consider hiring a part time person or an intern that can help. Look to local colleges for people looking for some real-life experience in their field. You’ll be surprised how willing, able, and appreciative a student pursuing a certain degree will be to just be around and experience the “real-world”.
5) Don’t forget your other percentage of life
Going to work should be a fulfilling way to make some money, gain insights and expand your knowledge of the world and processes. Don’t lose sight of the fact that there is life outside of work. Whether you enjoy outdoor sports, or just camping in front of the TV, be sure to appreciate those things that you enjoy. The work will stand the test of time and still be there tomorrow; you however will never get back the time you missed outside if you spend that time working.