The New Normal: Simple steps to help you feel more comfortable as we return to normal life

News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined this morning by award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee.

News 12 Staff

Jun 4, 2021, 2:58 PM

Updated 1,052 days ago

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News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen was joined this morning by award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee.
Headlee is the author of "We Need To Talk: How To Have Conversations That Matter" and "Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving." Her TEDx Talk sharing 10 ways to have a better conversation has over 23 million total views. Her new book, "Speaking of Race," will be released in November.
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Social media kind of tricks us into thinking we're connected, but it actually just makes us more tired. Headlee talks about how social media uses up your social energy:
Working long, endless hours is often counterproductive. If you consistently work long hours, you get burned out, stress and fatigue levels increase, and your productivity actually declines. Headlee talks about burnout:
Headlee offers five key insights from her book "Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving":

1. Hustle culture started hundreds of years ago.

We're living in a hustle culture that's become toxic—we feel like we should be more efficient and more productive, like we should always be building our brand and implementing life hacks. It's tempting to think that this is caused by technology and social media, but this trend actually began in the Industrial Revolution. Generation after generation have leaned into the same sorts of habits and values that have led us to this point, leaving us exhausted and unhealthy.

2. Work is not essential to life.

Human beings have inherent needs. One of them is social contact, which is required for a human being to remain healthy in body and mind. Other needs include language, rules, play, music, and more. But when you drill down to the things that are common to all members of our species, you don't find work. In fact, assuming that your survival needs are taken care of and you feel that you have a purpose, you can live a perfectly healthy and fulfilled life without working.

3. Means goals are not end goals.

End goals are the overarching goals that you have for life, but means goals are exactly what they sound like—means to an end. If your end goal is good health, for example, your means goal could be taking Pilates. If that doesn't work for you, you could try bike riding or swimming instead. So don't adopt a means goal—like making your bed every morning—simply because you read that it's a top habit of successful people. Be sure that your means goals are truly serving your end goals, and change them if need be.

4. Long hours are not productive hours.

Most people can only focus for four or five hours a day. If you're going to keep working beyond that, your brain will resist, and the work produced will often be less creative, riddled with errors, and generally of lower quality. When you cut people's hours down to a more reasonable workweek, they often become more productive, less error-prone, more loyal, and just happier and better workers in general.

5. To your brain, your tech break is work.

Let's say you have a break at work, so you scroll through Facebook or do some online shopping. It may seem like a diversion, but to your brain, there's no difference between that and the actual work you've been doing. In fact, any time your phone is visible, your brain is thinking about it, readying itself to respond to incoming notifications. So if you really want to take a break, leave the electronics either out of sight or in another room. Take a walk without your phone. Give your brain a break.


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