At the end of 2017, I was feeling burnt out. I had been working two jobs, as well as working long days and 6 days each week. So I took a series of new year resolutions that I want to re-evaluate in this post.
First, I decided to go back to a 5 day work week. Second I put two alarms on my phone, one for 5:30 pm as a reminder to start wrapping up and another at 6 pm with an awful alarm sound as a hard deadline to stop working. I wanted to clean my desk every evening (starting with the 5:30 alarm) because that clears the mind, supposedly. And I moved my desk from the common room to another room that I use exclusively as office. Before that, I was always passing by my desk, being reminded of work.
So how did I do on my resolutions? First of all, moving the desk to a different room had the strongest impact in helping me disconnect. Second, the 2 day weekend really helped me rest and gather energy. I hit the overtime alarms quite frequently at the beginning of the year, but as it went on, I automatically stopped working around 5:30 pm. I did not detect any negative effect on my productivity from all this.
The only thing that I stopped doing quite soon, was cleaning the desk after each work day. While it does help start the day with a clean slate, I did not have the discipline for it. Also, my desk is always cluttered with todo lists that I use to organize my workday and manage my time. I might give this another try next year, but do not expect such a big impact on my health or stress levels.
In conclusion, I did get better this year at managing my energy levels and did not have the feeling to burn out. I had some episodes of sickness and did not visit the gym as regularly as I wanted. Actually I had a 2 month break without any sports and found out that I need this to feel healthier. As I will still be travelling frequently next year as well, I want to make sure to eat healthier while doing so. All these things could turn into resolutions for 2019, where my focus will continue to be on my health.