We are going through yet another time of intense change in the IT industry. Since it is the end of the year, the pundits will start pontificating their view of how the world will look once we get through this transition period. The data center is dead! If you’re not on the public cloud your business is doomed! Containers are the only thing you need to know! Those of us who have worked in IT operations for a while can see this as a pattern, in fact we can see that these new technologies are just refinements of tech that has been around for decades. It can be frustrating, not to mention exhausting, to keep up with all of the new technologies coming at us. Add to that end-of-year activities at our jobs, not to mention our personal lives, how can you keep your sanity?
Here are five tips that may help you keep your sanity even if the world is spinning a little too fast!
1. Get your rest!
Studies have proven that in order to do our best, we have to get our rest. Without sleep, we find it hard to focus, our memory and organizational skills aren’t as sharp, and we can be more irritable. When you add in the extra pressures of living the IT infrastructure life in these times, we really can’t afford to be grouchy and unable to focus. Getting the proper amount of sleep is the first box you need to check to keep your sanity.Here are some tips to help you sleep better, but consider leaving your devices out of your bedroom!
2. Eat to keep up your strength!
We have been told this our entire lives: “you are what you eat”. That’s because it is true! What you eat fuels your body and your mind. You cannot work your best if you are hungry. Additionally, your mental state will be impacted by the types of food you eat. This time of year we have extra access to carbs, sugar, and alcohol. It is so delicious, but the sugar and carbs will impact your energy level, your ability to sleep well, as well as your mood. Be sure you’re also eating foods that can balance all of those things out.
Our bodies are a system, so figure out how to troubleshoot what you are eating with how you feel, and what you need to resolve any issues. If you want to keep your sanity, pay attention to what you put into your body!
3. Decide what to think about
We are living in a time when we are bombarded with information. Prioritize what you need to read about. How important is it to follow politics on a tweet by tweet level? Do you really need to deep dive into every new open source project tangentially related to the project you are responsible for at work? Maybe while things are super crazy, it is better to strip stuff down to the basics, until you have a good handle on what is most important. Think of your personal energy as system memory. Sure, you can multi-task and even run things in parallel, but you need to make sure you have plenty of energy reserved for your core processes. Pay attention to what you allow to drain your energy and you will be able to keep your sanity.
4. Take time out for you
One way to keep from getting overloaded is to take time for yourself. Remember what they tell you every time you board a plane: if the oxygen masks fall, take care of yourself before helping anyone else. You will burn out if you keep going even when you are overwhelmed. If you burn out, you won’t be able to work at all, then you can’t help anyone. So help yourself before it gets to that point. What do you love to do? Play video games, read, garden, go to the movies, play basketball. It is vital to take that recharge time!
And don’t forget taking time to exercise, and take care of yourself physically every day. There is always going to be one more thing to do. It’s important to take them time to take care of yourself so that you can handle all of your responsibilities.
Doing things that clear your mind is also an important way to balance out the craziness around us. Meditation and yoga can help quiet things inside your head, so you can concentrate on what is truly important. This is yet another way to keep your sanity.
5. Final tip to keep your sanity: reconnect with people
Never underestimate the power of family and community to bring your mind back to what is important. Spend time with loved ones and trusted friends, share your problems and challenges with them. The ones who know you the best are usually the ones who can help you untangle things once you become overwhelmed.
Also, give your time to someone who needs it. Help with manual tasks, share your skill set and knowledge with someone who is just starting out. Giving your time to help someone else can remind us maybe our problems are not as big as they seem.
I hope this list helps you keep your sanity as 2017 winds down. Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments!
You are what you eat image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/thigala4u/
Overloaded image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/redheaddude/