Treat Your Burnout Before It Runs You Out
Yes, burnout is real and prevalent. This silent killer can lead to the permanent expiry of your career’s progress; that is, unless you do something about it. Burnout has been officially termed as an occupational phenomenon by the World Health Organization. It can no longer be ignored or simply swept under the rug.
Burnout results from chronic workplace stress and that has not been appropriately managed. If you have been unable to deal with constant exhaustion, extreme negativity and cynicism related to your job, and your performance has been declining, you’re probably burned-out.
If it lasts longer than a couple of weeks, it’s most likely burnout
It’s not easy to introspect and check whether you are in fact burning out at work. But, just think about if any or many of the following statements apply to you.
- Your desk, once a source of motivation, is suddenly the last place you want to be.
- You keep your eye on the clock, counting the hours until you can leave.
- Your daily tasks become a real burden and every project that you once embraced now leave you unenthused.
- You’re regularly falling sick, with your body manifesting range of symptoms such as unusual rashes, stomach aches, or migraines.
- Your colleagues suggest a vacation or that you look for other, less stressful opportunities.
If any of the above resonate, you are probably experiencing some level of burn out. You can learn to manage burnout or read on further to understand what you need to change about and around you.
Treat your burnout – frame of mind and workload
1. Don’t be too strict with yourself
Are you trying to be perfect in everything you do? That’s great! Now, dial it back a notch. Perfectionism should not be your everyday meal. Instead, follow the 80:20 rule – basically, in most cases, 80% of the intended outcomes or effects come from 20% of the efforts or causes. So, aiming for 100% perfection doesn’t yield much more in terms of positive results than if you had been satisfied with 80%…that is, except for undue and unnecessary stress.
If you make it a point to prioritize rather than attempting to meet everyone’s demands, you’ll be able to breathe easier. Learn to strike a balance between self-imposed perfectionism and doing your best. Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint – learn to pace yourself and focus on both the journey AND the goal.
2. Go easy on the workload
Set internal and external boundaries to make sure that you are not taking too much on your plate. By saying ‘yes’ to everything, you end up depleting your energy and delivering mediocre results across the board. Talk to your manager if you feel unfairly overworked or overwhelmed by being pulled in so many directions. Plan, align, and delegate your projects across a set number of days, breaking down the work into manageable tasks that can be ticked off systematically. Remember to schedule breaks, time to exercise, and some device-free moments to help you relax and de-stress.
Other burnout relief measures
In addition to the above, here are other ways to help release the stress of burnout.
1. Find a new hobby
A hobby that is unrelated to work can give your mind a break from your daily routine. It could be anything from martial arts to baking , or photography . Broadening your skills will improve your quality of life and make you a more interesting person!
2. Schedule some free time
All you workaholics take note: A recent survey found that 60% of Indian working professionals consider their work-life status as average to terrible.
Take a walk, read a book, plan an outing with friends, and spend time with family to create balance. Make it a point to take short breaks and don’t limit them to just weekends. Maintaining work-life balance will help you better regulate that professional “switch” in your mind.
3. Find a way to manage stress
Take up an activity that induces calmness during stressful situations. While many swear by yoga or meditation, others use sports or an exercise regime to release nervous energy and relieve anxiety. Also, make sure not to turn to other stressors such as food, alcohol, or tobacco in an effort to decompress.
Burnout is a sign that you are doing too much of the same thing, with no break in the rhythm or intensity. The first step in combating burnout is identifying it and then making a conscious decision to do something about it. Once you are aware and willing to make some efforts, you will be well on the road to a new and improved version of yourself.
Have you experienced burnout in the past? Or are you experiencing it right now? Do let us know in the comment section or check out some of the learning options offered on our website to help you with combating workplace burnout.