5 Tips to Avoid Work Burnout
Work burnout is a real thing! According to MayoClinic.org, it is defined as “a state of physical, emotional or mental exhaustion combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work.” It can cause mental, physical, and psychological stress, and there are many signs of it.
According to Forbes.com, if you’re experiencing burnout, you might have: exhaustion, lack of motivation, frustration and cynicism, cognitive problems, problems at work and home, lack of care for yourself, and more. These are clearly issues that need to be addressed, and working to avoid burnout is the first step.
Stick to office hours
Since we have our phones and computers constantly at our fingertips, it can be tempting to answer emails and requests at all hours. While this is possible, it shouldn’t be the case most of the time! Sure, there might be a late night every once in a while, but it should be the exception – not the rule. Make time for yourself and stick to your office hours.
You can set office hours by figuring out how much time it takes you to do your work on a daily basis, and then you should only be emailing, texting, and answering calls for work during this time. Work will only sleep if you let it, so make a boundary here to keep your own sanity.
Make time for fun
Fun is important! It’s crucial to have things to look forward to, and it’s up to you to make those plans sometimes. Set up social events with friends or family, schedule a fun night with girlfriends, or make a standing walking date with a local mom who also works from home.
When you’re scheduling fun into your everyday life (not just vacations!), you can come back to work refreshed. Bonus points if your “fun” activities include relaxation, such as a spa treatment, yoga class, or meditation group.
We get it – it’s hard to say no. We want to do it all and we don’t want to miss out on anything. While saying “no” can be difficult in the moment, it’s truly important to keep space in your life for the things you want to do, as well as space for simple rest. We are all very “busy” these days, which makes us productive, but much more prone to burnout.
Say “no” when you can, and don’t feel guilty about it. There are plenty of other opportunities to say “yes,” and it’s important to be discerning about where your time and energy goes.
Take a step back
Vacations are another way to put something to look forward to into your life! But while a full blown vacation isn’t always a possibility, taking breaks is equally important.
Schedule your breaks like you would schedule anything else in your day. Take 10 minutes for a walk in the late morning, a 10 minute sweeping break in early afternoon, and 30 minutes to pick up your kids in the late afternoon. Breaking up your day can make work feel more refreshing when you come back. Just stepping away for a bit – whether 5 minutes or 1 week – can really make a difference in your attitude.
Take a tech break
We already discussed that having all of this technology in our faces all day can be a challenge. We’re productive, but are we happy? Or are we burning out? It’s not always possible to shut off your phone or computer, but you can put it down for a few hours in the evening.
When you break from technology, you’re breaking from seeing things that are work related. This gives your brain a chance to disconnect from the phone and internet, making it easier to connect in the morning. You might even find that you come back much more eager to work when you haven’t spent your evening staring at a screen too!