The Importance of Working More Efficiently to Avoid Burnout

Jimmy Tsui

Capacity Operations & Fulfillment Manager at Box



About three years ago, I was working for a consulting company. I was playing a very pivotal role, my career and my reputation within the organization were growing exponentially. We were very busy, I worked 12 hour days for two or three months and I got burned out. On a Friday at 6PM, I was sitting in the meeting room finishing my last call with a partner at the organization. He was having a tantrum and advised me that "no" was unacceptable, we needed to work the weekend and fix an issue by Monday. When he said the word unacceptable, it hit me because I just didn't have enough in me to work anymore that weekend, I was so exhausted and looking forward to resting. That weekend I gave it a lot of thought and I put in my resignation.

"no" was unacceptable

Actions taken

Luckily, I had a very good manager and a very good team that didn't let me quit. They gave me some time to rest and I was able to get back to it. When I came back, they gave me more of a manager and mentor role. Also, The organization started prioritizing better. They started delegating smaller tasks to other people and only giving me the more important tasks. They started having me train people to deploy them to the field so that I didn't have to work 10 times more.

Lessons learned

It is okay to say "no" if you can't do something. When you start saying "no" to people, they aren't going to stop going to you for work. Also, burn out doesn't happen gradually, it sneaks up on you. There are only 24 hours in a day, so at a certain point you have to work more efficiently.

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Jimmy Tsui

Capacity Operations & Fulfillment Manager at Box

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