Employees who start early, stay late, don’t take breaks and work on the weekends can end up burning out. Other factors can be large workloads, difficult colleagues and endless deadlines. These can all lead to a loss of motivation, productivity, positivity, passion and general low morale. Let’s look at how to avoid burning out at work:
Spot the warning signs
For example, struggling to get out of bed in the morning, arriving late to work, watching the clock excessively, a negative attitude or work stress spilling over into your personal life. If the symptoms sound familiar then it’s time to take action. These feelings won’t go away by themselves but the solution to avoid burning out at work is different for everybody. It could be a case of taking a few days off, having a night out, meditating or going for long country walks on the weekend. To test if you are suffering from burnout see: https://eapassist.com.au/screening-tools/
Identify stressful areas
Understanding where your burnout stems from can help you to manage stress. Practice breathing methods, meditation or other relaxation techniques to help you to calm down when you’re feeling stressed. See: https://eapassist.com.au/wellness-apps/
Take a break
If you’ve been feeling stressed, overwhelmed and have lost all motivation – don’t forget to take time off. Try to have a complete break from work – no technology or work stress – to give you time to breathe. Upon your return, you’ll be refreshed, well-rested and ready to get back into work with a more positive mind. Time off is key to avoid burning out at work.
Manage your time
Organising your time effectively allows you to evaluate your priorities. Manage your work priorities by organising them into different categories and don’t spend too much energy on non-critical tasks. Scheduling free time after work will ensure you give yourself time to relax and unwind.
When you’re feeling tired and unhappy, working out may be the last thing on your mind. However, it can be a powerful tool for tackling stress and burnout. Exercise can improve your mood, increase energy and productivity, sharpen your focus, relax the mind and body, as well as helping with sleep and motivation.
Change your environment
A large proportion of workers spend the majority of their time at a desk. Even if your work isn’t desk-based, it’s important to change up your routine and environment every once in a while. If your employer allows it try moving desks/offices or if not decorate your desk, rearrange it, be sure to take breaks away from it and occasionally work from home if you can.
Take a power nap
Sleep deprivation can worsen symptoms of burnout, leading to irrational thinking. In order to remain composed and cool in difficult situations – sleep is essential. Long naps can make it difficult for you to get to sleep in the evening, therefore power napping provides a solution that allows you to get a little bit of shut eye without disrupting your sleep cycle. Naps between 15 and 30 minutes make it easier for you to wake up and power napping for 20 minutes in the afternoon provides a more restful sleep than in the morning!
Talk to your manager
Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling to cope with your workload. Outline to your line manager specific issues and ask for guidance. It also doesn’t hurt to ask a colleague to glance their eyes over a project or help with it. A fresh pair of eyes is always good and can bring a new perspective. Avoid burning out at work by talking to people and not bottling everything up inside.