How to Be Indispensable at Work without Burning Out

    2 min read time

    Hey! All you over-achievers (aka Enneagram #3 and #8's!). We are dedicated. Tenacious. Driven. Eager to please. Yet all this can come at a cost when we desire to be seen as indispensable at work. In our attempt to go that extra mile or two or ten, we may be sacrificing our own wellness. 

    Studies have shown that highly dedicated employees are at greater risk of emotional exhaustion according to a 2016 study from King’s College London and the University of Bath in the U.K. Other studies and research as shown that our drive to impress our boss and colleagues at every turn, born out of this "hustle" culture we live in, comes at the high cost of burnout (which has now been stated as a clinical disease).  overachiever

    So how can you make your mark and add tremendous value without compromising your sanity and well-being? Well, here are a few tips to assist:

    1. Don't always say "yes"

    A lot of us (including me!) learn this the hard way. There are some of us that tend to bite off more than they can chew. If being a “yes-to-everything” person is leading you to the brink of burnout, the first step is to understand what’s causing your inability to set boundaries around your workload. Could it be that you’re loyal to the point of people pleasing? Or does it come down to needing control and not trusting your colleagues?

    Once you’re honest with yourself about your motivation, you may be more willing to let things go. Spoiler alert: Having too much on your plate can actually compromise the quality of your work, and that’s not a good strategy for winning.

    2. Train yourself to CLOCK OUT

    Oh is this one hard. I used to be the one to take my work laptop home (thinking I would actually get more done!). For over-achievers, there is never an end to the day. But not setting boundaries by letting work flow into your "off hours", can lead to significant burnout.

    So how do you prevent this when you want to achieve SO much? I suggest scheduling in days each week where working late is simply not an option. And to make sure your most important tasks are getting done on these days BEFORE you head home. The hardest part will be to get "uncomfortable with incompletions", as Thrive calls it.

    Ultimately, embracing those incompletions allows you to leave the office so you can recharge — and bring your indispensable-self to work again the next day.

    3. Don't forget teamwork

    You CAN get something done without your colleagues, but you can get the job done better WITH your colleagues. What is better than letting others use their skills and possibly shine? I'd say NOTHING! 

    So polish up those teamwork skills - I bet someone will notice you stepping up to bring everyone together - making you indispensable withOUT the stress. 

    By using just a few of these tips, you’ll be valued by bosses and esteemed by coworkers. Happiness at work is often about finding that “sweet spot” where business expectations and your ambitions meet. Create an environment where the company needs you just as much as you want to stay.