Exhausted: Work Doesn't Have to Kill Us

Episode 344 · June 5th, 2022 · 1 hr 38 mins

About this Episode

First, you are burning out. Second, it's not entirely your fault. Third, here's how to take steps to change it all.

Brian started his job as one full-time person replacing two full-time people, plus a part-time assistant. The things that were happening on the job were insanely counterproductive, but also looked very busy. Why are certain things happening the way that they are took reframing the context within which much work was done. "Why am I reprinting the Roman Missal? It's right there with you. You don't need 7 copies of 90% of it printed in binders."

Mary ran the bulletin. It used to take 20 hours a week to do and required a minumum of 10 business days for publication. She reduced it to 4 hours and staff members can send her stuff on that Monday morning. She realized the bulk of her work was spent taking parishioner bulletin submissions that were 2-page Word Documents and condensing them. Instead, she created a free Google Form and specified the character limit maximum. Now, parishioners self-edit and create a paragraph of text instead of an essay.

But what if your boss cannot tell the difference between doing good work and looking busy? What if your corporae culture looks like everyone is a damn day trader on Wall Street. Everyone is monitoring 12 inboxes but no one is moving the needle and everyone is stressed out!

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Episode Links

  • STRIKE! Magazine – On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs — nd these numbers do not even reflect on all those people whose job is to provide administrative, technical, or security support for these industries, or for that matter the whole host of ancillary industries (dog-washers, all-night pizza delivery) that only exist because everyone else is spending so much of their time working in all the other ones.These are what I propose to call ‘bullshit jobs’.
  • GaryVaynerchuk.com
  • The Burnout Society | Byung-Chul Han — Our competitive, service-oriented societies are taking a toll on the late-modern individual. Rather than improving life, multitasking, "user-friendly" technology, and the culture of convenience are producing disorders that range from depression to attention deficit disorder to borderline personality disorder. Byung-Chul Han interprets the spreading malaise as an inability to manage negative experiences in an age characterized by excessive positivity and the universal availability of people and goods. Stress and exhaustion are not just personal experiences, but social and historical phenomena as well. Denouncing a world in which every against-the-grain response can lead to further disempowerment, he draws on literature, philosophy, and the social and natural sciences to explore the stakes of sacrificing intermittent intellectual reflection for constant neural connection.
  • Byung-Chul Han: “I Practise Philosophy as Art” - ArtReview — The philosopher on how we might respond to a world of digital alienation
  • Bishop Barron Presents Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein - YouTube
  • Cranking | 43 Folders — It's such a funny thing. Threats--like hurricanes and rectal exams--are only scary until they arrive. Once they're over, they're just the basis for funny stories. But, you do nearly always survive them. And, if you didn't survive? It wasn't because of a lack of fear. Like I say, the universe doesn't particularly care whether you're scared.
  • Frankenstein Syndrome — Postman calls this the “Frankenstein Syndrome” in which technology is developed for a limited and specific purpose. “But once the machine is built, we discover—sometimes to our horror, usually to our discomfort, always to our surprise—that it has ideas of its own”(1982/1994: 21).
  • Why Do We Work Too Much? | The New Yorker — How do you decide when to say no? In the modern office context, stress has become a default heuristic. If you turn down a Zoom-meeting invitation, there’s a social-capital cost, as you’re causing some mild harm to a colleague and potentially signalling yourself to be uncoöperative or a loafer. But, if you feel sufficiently stressed about your workload, this cost might become acceptable: you feel confident that you are “busy,” and this provides psychological cover to skip the Zoom.
  • The Guy Who Invented Inbox Zero Says We're All Doing It Wrong | Inc.com — The Guy Who Invented Inbox Zero Says We're All Doing It WrongWe used to have one inbox. Now we have dozens, metaphorically. Here's how productivity guru Merlin Mann manages.
  • On Slow Productivity and the Anti-Busyness Revolution - Study Hacks - Cal Newport — Seven years ago, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang was a typical overworked, multitasking, slave to the hyperactive hive mind, Silicon Valley consultant.  Feeling the symptoms of burnout intensify, he arranged a three-month sabbatical at Microsoft Research Cambridge.