Even if you love what you do and are successfully executing on hard work, a busy lifestyle can still weigh you down.
Burnout is so common these days, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers it to be a legitimate health condition. According to the WHO, burnout “is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
Burnout is characterized by:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job.
- Reduced professional efficacy.
It is important to note that burnout doesn’t just happen to those who dislike their jobs. It has been shown that those who are passionate about their career or business experience burn out because they voluntarily take on too many tasks, or become obsessive about their work.
Here are seven helpful tips to beat burnout:
1. Acknowledge burnout exists.
Many people do not want to admit when they are feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. There are so many motivational speakers out there who stress the need to “work, work, work,” and mention you should never stop until you achieve what you have aimed to accomplish.
Some of you may have heard quotes such as “Sleep is for the weak” or “Don’t stop until you’re proud.” Although these quotes are meant to inspire hard work and dedication, they can also create an unhealthy belief that to be successful at your job or have a successful business, you are not allowed to take breaks or acknowledge being overwhelmed.
The first step towards beating burnout is admitting you are there, and understanding burnout is not something you have to suffer through silently.
2. Use the Pomodoro Technique to ensure you take breaks.
The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity strategy where you schedule periods into work time and break time. The idea here is that taking regular small breaks and one larger break each day will keep you more productive. This technique is also a useful way to avoid immediate work stress or feelings of burnout.
3. Take breaks from your screen.
Staring at a computer or other screens throughout the day causes constant exposure to fluorescent and blue lights. Taking regular breaks from your screen helps reduce eyestrain, prevents headaches, can improve your focus, and even improve your sleep.
4. Try yoga and meditation.
Yoga helps release endorphins while also calming the mind. A combination of yoga and meditation can help you relax after a long, stressful day, and can also help you feel more productive.
5. Take time off when you need it.
For some people, taking time off may be difficult to do because they fear they will fall behind or even be reprimanded for taking time for themselves. Self-care is important in all walks of life. If you are not taking care of yourself, how can you be productive and put your best foot forward in the workplace? Time off can be the key to relaxation, resetting your mind, and gaining a solid work-life balance.
6. Lighten your workload
One way to lighten your workload is to delegate tasks to people you trust. This is especially important if you are in a leadership position or wear many hats within a business.
If there is a task on your plate that can be completed efficiently by someone else, then take this as an opportunity to free up some of your time. This can be as simple as having a team member take charge of restocking the break room with coffee to a major responsibility such as hiring a trustworthy and efficient payroll company to run your payroll and take care of your payroll taxes while you focus on other pressing tasks.
7. Shift your perspective.
Rest, relaxation and replenishment can ease exhaustion, curb cynicism, and enhance efficiency; they do not fully address the root causes of burnout. At your workplace, you may still face the same heavy workload, conflicts, or paltry resources. So now is a good time to alter your perspective.
Ask yourself: Are there ways to reshape your job to gain more control or to focus on more fulfilling tasks? Can you shield yourself from the parts of the organization which frustrate you, while reengaging in your specific role and the whole enterprise? Could you build some positive, supportive relationships to counteract the ones which drain you?
Burnout can often feel overwhelming, but by understanding the symptoms and causes and implementing these 7 strategies, you can recover and build a road map towards a more sustainable career and a happier, healthier life.