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Alarion: Tackling Burnout


Alarion

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BURNOUT... NO MORE!

 

Being a freelance translator has quite a few positive aspects; however, some downsides come with it as well. For example, nobody will chase me on compulsory holiday, and being a silly woman I do not grant any to myself. I have been working with no proper vacation for almost two years, and taking only a random day off once in a while. But, oh, too much work is a recipe for burnout!

 

Lately, I've sat down and looked at all the negative things that have come with burnout:

- I've forgotten how to have fun and have done almost nothing of what I used to enjoy: reading, drawing, even participation in National Guard;

- My weight refuses to go down and even has gone up slightly (what with me eating mindlessly);

- I've slept way too little because work took up too much time (and found out that driving when tired is very scary indeed);

- I'm very irritable and get angry easily;

- The quality of my translations has suffered lately.

 

So after lurking on here only for a long time I've decided to set up a challenge again and see if I can manage to find my way and avoid drowning being captured by burnout even more. Currently I feel like I'm trying to find my way through a dangerous swamp, much like in a picture below, with a hope that a reward awaits on the other side.

 

rogains_mazs.JPG.eefcabb049be6c27ee9a89984ba1c8db.JPG

 

Goals!

 

Goal #1

No work after 22:00 (at least 5 days a week).

I can set my own schedule, so often I would do runs or other things in the morning, and then there's stuff like cooking meals and what not during the day, so often I would work in the evenings to get my translations done. However, there are days when I work all day long, late into the night and then get up in the morning to finish the text. No more of that though; I will take only as much work as I can accomplish without driving myself crazy.

 

Goal #2

One day a week completely work-free!

Yep, I tend to deny myself even free week-ends. Speak of being a perfectionist workaholic.

 

Goal #3

Must get those sleeps! Bedtime before midnight at least 5 days a week.

My Polar sports watch says that my monthly average sleep hours have never exceeded 7 to 7.5 hours. But there are many a 4 - 5 -6 hour sleep in between those 7 and up hour sleeps. That definitely needs to be fixed!

 

Goal #4

Log my meals on SparkPeople site at least 5 days a week.

While I am only too well aware that my eating habits only reflect all that stress from burnout, yet eating unhealthily and too much does not help to deal with it either. I've noticed that some sort of charts and accountability help me be a bit more mindful on what I munch on.

 

Right then. Challenge starts... tonight!

 

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~ All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Ranger

STR: 10.5 / DEX: 1 / STA: 2.9 / CON: 22 / WIS: 2 / CHA: 1

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Current challenge

Battle Log: No Quitting!

Nerdfit character: here

 

 

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Oh my, that sounds like a lot of work! Being a translator is a lot of work, though. I'm sure your brain would run a lot better with some breaks! I just read an article on productivity, I hope it could give you some inspiration :)

 

How do you pace your working? Pomodoro technique is pretty good, and could help you manage your timetable. Try to also have fun on your breaks, something like dancing. And take yourself out to the movies on your days off! Or museums. Something you enjoy :D

 

Following! Enjoy the challenge, and take care of yourself :)

-:*~ Journal ~*:-

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Ensi, that really was a good article, though the language was... rather interesting. :D

As for Pomodoro, I had to look it up, since I had no idea what it was. But I had developed a system of my own - but it is rather similar. Translation software separate everything into segments/sentences, so I would often translate 50 segments and then get up and move, maybe do some house chores, but 50 usually takes a very long time, so last week I decided to work for 25 segments and then take a break. Sometimes I also use Eyeleo, which darkens the screen for 10 seconds every 15 minutes and gives an exercise for eyes, and then 'locks' the screen for 5 minutes every 30 or 40 or 45 or 50 minutes (as chosen). Will definitely have to experiment with this some more.

Days off... I've long wanted to explore the nature trails in Latvia, and now that I have a car it might actually be possible! Already took my mum to explore one. :D

 

Now, the assessment of the beginning of week one.

Goal 1:

May 27: I did no work at all!
May 28: I translated 100 segments today, but no more than that and not late in the evening either.

 

Goal 2:

Yesterday I had my day off, and completely away from the computer too, which felt great! I spent the whole day with mum at our little farm (consisting of three small separate gardens, so not really a farm), read a a chapter and a half of "Little Women", and spent a few hours watering the garden, and a car - though the last activity was rather useless, since it got dusty on the way home (silly gravel road!).

 

Goal 3:

Strangely enough I have been able to get myself to turn off all screens and get to bed in time: both Friday and Saturday nights I was in bed and turned lights off at about 23:55, and got a little more than 8 hours of sleep.

 

Goal 4:

May 27:

Morning weight: 77 kg

I did not track any food that day.

May 28:

Morning weight: 76.3 kg

Breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs mixed with a bit of milk, bell pepper and zucchini; 2 slices of bread with butter and cheese.

Lunch: boiled potatoes; salad: radishes, chives, lettuce, cottage cheese and sour cream; a few small pieces of pickled herring.

Dinner: leftover salad from lunch + a couple of cherry tomatoes and green olives; 2 slices of bread with Fitaki cheese.

Snack: a teaspoon of honey now and then to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Entered this all in SparkPeople along with today's activities (3 km run and about 2.5 km walk), and it said that I went overboard with fat and sodium intake, and didn't reach my goals in terms of calories, carbs and proteins. But meh - I finally felt that I am not eating huge portions and didn't go hungry.

  • Like 1

~ All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Ranger

STR: 10.5 / DEX: 1 / STA: 2.9 / CON: 22 / WIS: 2 / CHA: 1

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Current challenge

Battle Log: No Quitting!

Nerdfit character: here

 

 

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Goal 1: Translated 200 segments, and revised a few pages of text, though revision took me 20 minutes past the set time. I didn't want to get up early just for this task, so meh. :D

 

Goal 3: Was in bed by 23:45, though I think I didn't fall asleep for about half an hour or so.

 

Goal 4: Food logged. Radish, lots of radish from the garden!

Breakfast: 2 slices of bread with avocado, radish and ham.

Lunch: Leftover potatoes from yesterday + chives, lettuce, radish and sour cream.

Dinner: 2 tortillas filled with cottage cheese, sour cream, chives, radish, tomatoes and green olives.

Also I ate a banana before my morning run, and had a couple of chocolate snacks.

Oh, this morning's weight was 75.8 kg.

  • Like 1

~ All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Ranger

STR: 10.5 / DEX: 1 / STA: 2.9 / CON: 22 / WIS: 2 / CHA: 1

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Current challenge

Battle Log: No Quitting!

Nerdfit character: here

 

 

Link to post

Hmm, I should watch Kung Fu Panda 2, think I've just seen random fragments.

 

And strangely enough I have been able to keep up with my goals rather properly: haven't been working too much or too late, every night have gone to bed before midnight (which is a major achievement with my owlish habits), and have logged food, though today I don't want to do it - ate a lot of delicious snacks. :D

 

Also, I have finished my 10 km running program, and my legs are very sore from running such a distance at my best speed with high pulse. Now I might revisit 5 km program again.

  • Like 1

~ All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Ranger

STR: 10.5 / DEX: 1 / STA: 2.9 / CON: 22 / WIS: 2 / CHA: 1

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Current challenge

Battle Log: No Quitting!

Nerdfit character: here

 

 

Link to post

A whole week has already flown by incredibly! So I think it is as good a time to assess it as any, and here it goes:

 

Goal #1: Goal reached - 6/7 days I kept myself within the limits and did not work late into the night. In fact, I haven't worked quite little, which was rather nice for a change.

 

Goal #2: Mission accomplished - 1/7. This week I also had a Saturday off, though not computer-free (watched Aussie Laddette to Lady...).

 

Goal #3: Aced it! 7 out of 7 days in bed before midnight. This week is a different story, however.

 

Gal #4: I've logged the food for 6 days, and have found that an occasional ice cream does not do much harm. :D Last week's average weight: 75.8 kg. Tomorrow is my birthday, so I decided to make some delicious dessert for my family, but it still remains to see if it will really be delicious. At any rate the preparation process is much more fun than buying a cake in the shop.

 

And now I should get ready for bed soonish because I can't afford any more staying up late this week!

  • Like 1

~ All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Ranger

STR: 10.5 / DEX: 1 / STA: 2.9 / CON: 22 / WIS: 2 / CHA: 1

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Current challenge

Battle Log: No Quitting!

Nerdfit character: here

 

 

Link to post

Hmm. I haven't written anything in here for a whole week! And it hasn't been the best either, but I blame the "red days", which is very convenient when I need something to blame for my poor choices. :D

 

Goal #1: Goal reached - 5/7 days I've been careful not to work too much, which is rather good. But then again I feel like I'm being lazy!

 

Goal #2: A day off it was on Saturday - 1/7.

 

Goal #3: Now, the sleep patterns... 3/7, not a very good thing! I tend to watch all sorts of silly youtube videos and waste my time that way instead of having proper sleep. How silly is that!

 

Gal #4: Logged food for 5/7 days, but I find that I'm already getting tired of doing it. Boring. :D Especially because I know how much and what I should eat, so at times this seems like such a nuisance.

 

Also I'm getting a bit worried: I found a tick in my armpit some 12 days ago, and the bite spot has been red all this time, and it begins to look a bit suspicious. Maybe I should visit the doctor and make sure it is not a Lyme disease. Also I'm not sure if the tiredness I have been feeling is due to tick bite, or if it is just the usual reaction of "I want more sleep" from my body. Will see, I suppose.

  • Like 1

~ All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Ranger

STR: 10.5 / DEX: 1 / STA: 2.9 / CON: 22 / WIS: 2 / CHA: 1

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Current challenge

Battle Log: No Quitting!

Nerdfit character: here

 

 

Link to post
41 minutes ago, Alarion said:

Also I'm getting a bit worried: I found a tick in my armpit some 12 days ago, and the bite spot has been red all this time, and it begins to look a bit suspicious. Maybe I should visit the doctor and make sure it is not a Lyme disease. Also I'm not sure if the tiredness I have been feeling is due to tick bite, or if it is just the usual reaction of "I want more sleep" from my body. Will see, I suppose.

 

Oh shiiiz...! Do get it checked, if possible. We're having more ticks here in Finland this year than before, as well x__x

 

To the feeling of being lazy: does the job get done, or do you just wish to work hard for the sake of feeling productive? I'm sure you're working hard enough :)

-:*~ Journal ~*:-

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So I did go to the doc, since the rash looked very suspicious; the doc said blood tests would be of any use only in a month and a half or so, but she prescribed me antibiotics for at least 10 days, and have to use alcohol compresses on the bit spot. But it feel sore, maybe because clothing rubs against it. At any rate it seems that we have a population of infected ticks living near our garden. And antibiotics it is then, though I think I will get some probiotics to use with it, else all my good bacteria will disappear too. And speaking of ticks, I went orienteering on Tuesday and gathered at least 10 small black ticks from my trousers - rolled them onto the sticky roll for clothes. But it seems that I didn't get any on my body.

 

However, I have not been that good with the goals this week, except for minding my work time limits. Haven't been going to bed as I should or tracking food. Meh.

 

On 2017.06.11. at 4:56 PM, Ensi said:

To the feeling of being lazy: does the job get done, or do you just wish to work hard for the sake of feeling productive? I'm sure you're working hard enough

 

I get stuff done all right, but it feels strange to reject projects that I know would be too much and which would mean working late into night and getting up early to finish them on time. However, health comes first, else I'd just use the few extra euros I earn and more to fix it up afterwards.

~ All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Ranger

STR: 10.5 / DEX: 1 / STA: 2.9 / CON: 22 / WIS: 2 / CHA: 1

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Current challenge

Battle Log: No Quitting!

Nerdfit character: here

 

 

Link to post

All right then, another week has passed by, in which I think I completely gave up on trying to meet some goals.

 

Goal #1: Goal reached - 6/7 days of not working too late. I seem to have learned to keep myself from working too much, which is good!

 

Goal #2: 1/7 - I did have a day off, and it felt good. :)

 

Goal #3: 3/7 nights of proper sleep. Meh - that is all I have to say.

 

Goal #4: I have only logged my food only 1/7 days, but don't think logging does me much good in long-term because it does feel rather restricting and then I proceed to eat too much. Again - meh.

  • Like 2

~ All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Ranger

STR: 10.5 / DEX: 1 / STA: 2.9 / CON: 22 / WIS: 2 / CHA: 1

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Current challenge

Battle Log: No Quitting!

Nerdfit character: here

 

 

Link to post

And last week's stuff... As well as overall evaluation

 

Goal #1: Goal reached - 5/7 days of observing the work time limit. Which was good.

Overall: I think I am well on my way to learning how to set limits on work, and it actually feels good.

 

Goal #2: 1/7 - Did have my rest day!

Overall: Managed to take a day off every week, and should continue doing this because it is ever so refreshing.

 

Goal #3: Sleep habits are not good at all: 1/7.

Overall: Managed to discipline myself enough to go sleep on time only on week 1, so obviously there is much work to be done in this area. Just that silly idea that I'm wasting time by going to bed earlier. Hmph.

 

Goal #4: Didn't track any food.

Overall: Suppose I did get tired from having to write down every single item I ate; but again, I am very well aware of portion sizes and what I should and should not eat. It could be that I should first deal with other issues that affect my eating habits.

  • Like 1

~ All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

Ranger

STR: 10.5 / DEX: 1 / STA: 2.9 / CON: 22 / WIS: 2 / CHA: 1

Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Current challenge

Battle Log: No Quitting!

Nerdfit character: here

 

 

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