02/24/2023 Getwork

Is quiet quitting the answer to burnout?

Is there a better way to reclaim your time than quiet quitting?

Are you feeling burnout? You’re not alone! In fact, millions of people worldwide are taking to social media sites such as TikTok to break down the stigmas surrounding mental health, and corporate burnout, and pushing for better work-life balance. 

It’s been predicted that quiet quitting will continue to be the phrase on everyone’s lips in 2023, but is doing nothing the opposite of burnout?

Let’s start at the beginning, what is quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting is the pushback against pitiful work-life balance and long hours that are often associated with so-called “hustle culture”. 

Particularly popular with Gen-Z, and regularly going viral on TikTok, quiet quitting focuses on doing the bare minimum at work, leaving the office on time, and muting any work notifications outside of office hours. 

Essentially, you do what’s in your job description and work contract and nothing else. 

With so many of us hitting burnout in recent years, quiet quitting embraces doing less in order to enjoy a better work-life balance. 

In fact, quiet quitting has nothing to do with quitting your job at all. It’s solely about quitting the hustle culture.

Is there a better option than just doing nothing?

There are loads of outcomes to quiet quitting. Some might use the time outside of work to do some career cushioning (looking at other jobs, learning new skills, and tweaking their resume) while others might use that time to do nothing at all. 

Is the opposite of burnout nothing, or is it being engaged in something joyful? Many are suggesting that fully engaging in something that in the words of Marie Kondo, sparks joy, could be the real antidote to hustle culture. If we’re living our best lives outside of work, then we’ll bring our best selves to work. 

Laura Vanderkam ran a time satisfaction study with more than 140 busy people. At the beginning of the study, most described themselves as exhausted, tapped out, and having never-ending to-do lists. Over the course of nine weeks, each participant applied nine time management strategies mainly centered around building in more, rather than doing less. 

Participants were told to build in regular physical activity, make space for adventures, and prioritize effortful over effortless (such as reading a novel rather than binge-watching a series). They were also told to take one night for just themselves, such as joining a sports team or a choir or taking an evening class. And just like quiet quitting, this might involve clocking off a little early. 

The result? The participants felt that time was more abundant as they experienced increased energy and engagement by doing something they enjoyed. 

How to spark joy outside of work

There’s no one-size-fits-all, in fact, Vanderkam advises against cramming things into your schedule out of a sense of obligation. The key is to commit to something wonderful. 

Here’s some food for thought.

Family vacations

Does time with family instantly revive you? Rather than using all of your personal time off in one go, spread out quality time across the year. 

If you’re no longer clocking off at midnight, enjoy it. Spend time having date nights with your spouse, reading a bedtime story with your kids, or having a proper catch-up on the phone with a sibling. 

Need to really reclaim your time? Clock off early on Friday and head on a short out-of-town vacation with people you love.

Schedule time for the right friends

Make time for friends who make you feel energized and supported. If certain friends have fallen off the radar, then plan ahead, making sure you have some quality face-to-face time.

Let’s face it, we’ve all picked up tips to arrange meetings at work, so take the same energy and apply it to your social life. Send out polls to find dates that work for people, book in a place to meet, and enjoy.

Join a sports club

There’s plenty of evidence that taking part in physical activity can have a positive impact on your mental health. 

Moving your body shouldn’t feel like a chore, so stick to things you really enjoy. 

Being part of a team sport can be beneficial to your working life too. It can help with goal setting, focus, grit, boost motivation, and make you feel part of something when working with others towards a shared goal.

Get creative

Again, embrace what you enjoy. Take an art class or just get out some art supplies at home. 

Got kids? Then why not combine creativity with quality family time? It can be great fun to get messy and see what you can do. 

If mess and clutter aren’t your things you can take up drawing on your tablet and teach yourself design. Journaling can also be a fantastic way of embracing your creative side mess-free.
One study showed approximately 75% of participants’ cortisol levels (hormonal markers of stress) were lowered after making art, and whether you were good at it or not had no impact.

Have fun

Dance to your favorite song, make a favorite recipe, or spend time doing sports with friends. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you have fun doing it.

As well as it being a fantastic boost to your well-being you might pick up some valuable soft skills to actually boost your career. 

So can reclaiming your time be the opposite of burnout? We sure think it can go a long way!