Have you ever asked yourself if you’re more zombie than human?
Not literally having an insatiable desire for brains. You may be a living, breathing human, but if you have a job, you’re actually acting more of a zombie than you think. And there’s no better time to contemplate your zombielike existence than in October, when all monsters are more inclined to make their presence known.
Here are six ways to tell if you’re a work zombie.
1. You Have an Insatiable and Endless Desire for Coffee
If you wake up every morning craving coffee because it tastes good, energizes you, and you really can’t live without it, you’re a zombie. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to make your own coffee, drink the office sludge or step out for Starbucks runs, you’re still a zombie because you need coffee like a zombie needs brains.
2. You Shuffle Your Feet When You Walk
Think about how you walk. Do you pick up your feet and take long strides, or do your shuffle your feet and take short steps. How about your posture? Is it straight as an arrow, or do you hunch and slouch? Sitting counts! If you’re hunched over at your desk right now after shuffling into the room, you’re a big-time work zombie!
Work zombies don’t have much of a vocabulary. Instead of using words to communicate with coworkers, they simply grunt, groan and mumble. For example, if a coworker invites you to get a free bagel in the kitchen, do you grunt instead of saying “yes”? And if your manager moves your project deadline up, do you groan instead of verbally expressing your displeasure? If you replace words with sounds, you’re a work zombie.
4. You’ve Caught the Virus That’s Making the Rounds
Have you ever noticed that once a coworker gets sick, it doesn’t take long for the virus to spread? You can blame it on the inability to open a window for fresh air or a lack of paid sick leave, but the truth is you’re about to catch a virus that turns you into even more of a zombie than you were before. That’s because being sick at work makes you less able to focus and more likely to shuffle your feet and groan like a zombie.
5. Your Job is So Easy You Don’t Need a Brain to Do It
Maybe you’ve been doing the same job for years, and there are no growth opportunities at your company. Or maybe your job is so easy someone with a quarter of your experience could do it. If you don’t really need a brain to do your job, or you can do it perfectly well on autopilot, you’re certainly a work zombie.
6. You Sacrifice Sleep, Sex and Good Food for Work
You know what zombies don’t do? They don’t sleep and they don’t have sex. They also don’t have an exciting diet filled with interesting and healthy food options. You know who lives a similar life? You do, if you work long hours and suffer from insomnia due to stress. You do, if your sex life has taken a dive because you never get to see your partner. And you do, if you eat junk for lunch because it is quicker than walking away from your desk for a healthy meal. Welcome to Zombie Town.
A Work Zombie No More
We all have to work, but the key to shedding your zombielike status is to work to live, not live to work. How do you do that? You can start by trying to find a job that’s at least a little interesting and rewarding. You can establish a good work–life balance where you go to work, put your time in, do a good job and then leave on time. Don’t feel pressured to work overtime and don’t sacrifice your health, happiness and relationships for a job. Be loyal to yourself. And take breaks during the work day. Go outside, breathe fresh air and don’t eat lunch at your desk. It’s time to get discharged from the work zombie army.