22 Jun Avoiding Burnout at Work
The sun is shining; you’re worn-out and tired. All you want to do is join your friends for a drink (or two) on a patio. You might even be asking yourself, ‘How am I going to survive the summer when I feel like this?’ After a very (and I mean, V-E-R-Y) long winter, you’re ready for a break – from your boss, the work, and the office.
Well – rest assured, that “burnt-out” feeling you have right now… it’s normal. First step is recognizing how you feel; second step: do something about it.
Let’s discuss what a “burnout” really means; it is essentially a “disease of disengagement”. It has crept up slowly and hit you like a brick wall. You feel disconnected from the work, and have lost that spark you once had when your boss would drop a new file on your desk. Realistically, there is no “one-size-fits-all” definition for what it means to be “burnt-out”, as we have incorporated this term into our daily lingo, but below are some signs that may look familiar:
- FATIGUE – you are exhausted (mentally and physically) all the time, no matter how many hours of sleep you had the night before.
- INEFFICIENCY – you spend hours at work, but get very little done.
- DETACHED – you don’t feel connected to the work or your clients.
Feeling (at least) 1 out of 4 of those things on the list above? So, ‘now what?’. While there might be a different solution for each of us, here are some ways to avoid and overcome that sense of disengagement you might be feeling:
1. Manage Expectations.
Taking on more than you can handle will only hurt you (and your work) long-term; it is OK to tell your boss that you are swamped.
2. De-Stress Outside of Work.
Think: Yoga; Meditation; Weightlifting; Boxing. Find something that works for you and do it often.
3. Accept that “Perfect” is NOT the Goal.
Determine what must be done perfectly, and what can be “good enough”. Perfection is a very difficult (and unmeasurable) standard to attain.
4. Stop Competing.
Trying to “be better” than your colleagues will only wear you out; find ways to show your value instead.
5. Create Short-Term Goals.
Writing down your goals will help you stay motivated as you meet them; and don’t forget to reward yourself once you do.
6. Remain flexible.
If one coping method doesn’t work, use another. And lastly,
7. Acknowledge your Feelings.
Don’t be afraid to take time off; RELAX AND RECHARGE.
What most people don’t recognize, is that overcoming the burnout and doing things that are good for your mental health will improve productivity in the long-run. You will be able to focus and prioritize – greater efficiency in less time.
Hope this helps! And just remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It always helps to speak to a friend, family member or mentor about any struggles or frustration you might be feeling.
Author: Hayley Silvertown