What You Need to Know About Generation Xhausted
An article came out last week in The Economist that was humorously titled “Generation Xhausted.” Bagehot, the author, mentions the rise of the Sandwich Generation, the boomers who are in a new era of stress, taking care of their parents and their grown up kids at the same time. As people are living longer and adolescence is extending to the late 20’s this is more the norm than the exception. But Generation Xhausted is face a new kind of stress.
This is Gen X, people born more or less from the mid 60’s to the early 80’s. The reason for the exhaustion is that people are generally having kids later, in their 30’s and the mid 30’s are also the time where either parents are on career tracks to dig in and try to get ahead. So there’s the stress of wanting to be home with family as the kids are young and at the same time needing to sacrifice more time for work to get ahead.
Result = Extreme Exhaustion.
There’s no right answer for how to solve this dilemma, but one thing we do know is that work bleeds into home life and home life bleeds into work. We can’t be present to our families when we’re answering quick work emails during family time.
It would help the generation to come if we started to become more mindful of this.
Here are a few tips:
- Schedule blocks of time to check messages, don’t allow yourself to be on call for all your various messages unless necessary. Your brain is taxed as you frequently check your phone every time there is a notification from text, Facebook, Twitter, etc..It’s amazing how much of your attention you can free up.
- Unsubscribe from unimportant lists. You’ve heard this before, but really, there are many that aren’t that you likely need to be on. You can save a lot of your invaluable resource of attention but cutting down on these. You really won’t miss much, unless you’re part of The Now Effect letter and you’ll want to stay on that :).
- When you’re at home, turn your phone on silent and spend time with your family, animal or friends. Check in with it infrequently, this is precious time that you’ll never get back.
This isn’t a knock against technology it’s a calling to help us manage technology wisely so we get the best out of it while maximizing our mental health.
We are active participants of our health and well-being.
As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.