What New Managers Need to Fend Off Burnout

Becoming someone's boss is a big step in all kinds of ways. There's more responsibility, more money, and — let's be honest — much more aggravation. Your time gets eaten up in ways you couldn't even contemplate before. But there are ways to keep yourself steady as you settle into your role. Master them early on and they'll pay dividends throughout your career.

Psychologists at Portland State University and Switzerland's University of Zurich have just released a study looking into how people handle the transition from employee to manager. After surveying more than 2,000 people, the researchers wound up classing the promotion as a "double-edged sword." While taking on more responsibilities tended to increase job satisfaction, it also swiftly and decisively eroded work-life boundaries and increased exhaustion. (A different study found that managers spend nearly four times as many hours in meetings as regular employees.)

New supervisors are battling in two arenas: at the office and at home. That means it takes two different strategies for keeping your health (both mental and physical) intact. First, the PSU team emphasize that setting boundaries between your work and your personal time is key to maintaining your happiness and effectiveness in both. Now is the time to establish habits like good sleep hygiene that firmly demarcate where you're willing to work.

At the office, University of Miami researchers suggest practicing mindfulness to stay focused and keep up with a demanding schedule. That study was conducted with members of U.S. Special Operations Forces — and if the results can work under that kind of stress, they should help in civilian life too.