***Have you ever suffered from burnout or workplace stress?***
***Did you know it was coming?***
And, I’d love a heads up for if it ever happens again.
When we’re in the middle of a struggle we are often blind to the symptoms that appear glaringly obvious in hindsight. We are less blind when observing our colleagues and friends as we have an external view. However, by the time a problem is externally visible it has generally been bubbling away inside for some time – and causing damage in the process. What we need is some form of early warning system.
Two years ago I started wearing a Fitbit and discovered the joy of monitoring my sleep cycles and competing on my step count. After the first 6 months of wearing the device I had reason to look back over the data month by month and realised that I could spot patterns matching up with work stress. Even better the benefit of hindsight allowed me to see the warning signs in the data – signals that my body was sending whilst my mental state felt absolutely 100% fine.
Nowadays I’m quite good at correcting stressors in my work life when I spot the warning signs in my Fitbit data, just as I’m good at helping an agile team refocus based on user feedback. The aim of this session is to present, discuss and brain storm the parallels between agile practices and self-care (A/B testing, iterative working, on-going monitoring, etc.) plus tips for remedial actions that protect personal health and professional flow.
This is not a sales pitch for Fitbit and I am not a medical professional. I hope that sharing my story will help others to realise that there are observability tactics that we can use to protect and heal our own wellbeing.