Being overworked leads to workplace burnout and unnecessary stress.
Dread going to work in the morning?
Stare at the clock and wait for 5 PM to roll around?
You might be suffering from burnout. Burnout is a specific type of exhaustion that comes from being overworked. Sometimes it comes from a poor work-life balance or an overly demanding job.
This is my workplace burnout story. A few years ago I worked somewhere that expected constant communication even off the clock. If I didn’t respond to a text within 5 minutes, I could expect at least 3 more texts asking me where I was and why I wasn’t answering. They cut into my time away from work by asking me work-related questions.
All of this meant that my brain could never wander too far away from work, especially cause this place was open on weekends. It didn’t take long before the burnout set in hard.
Today we’re going to look at simple steps you can take to avoid being burnt out at work.
1. Create a routine
When you don’t follow a routine, the body and brain can feel like a jumbled mess. It is hard to find a good workflow and easy to find yourself distracted. I follow a morning routine, and when I skip part of it my workday suffers.
The morning routine I follow is: have coffee, exercise, and then get ready for my workday. Even though I work from home, I get dressed in work clothes and make sure I am starting whatever tasks I plan on doing that day by 9 am.
Find a routine that works best for you. Do you like to exercise in the morning? Do you drink coffee? Think about the days you feel the most productive and try to pinpoint what made you feel that way. Then build it into your daily routine to set yourself up for success.
Check out this video that talks about morning routines.
Nightly routines are just as important. Whenever I’m done working for the day I close all work-related windows on my computer and do my best to not check my email or computer.
Having that routine gives your body and brain a sense of structure. This goes a long way in feeling less overwhelmed.
2. Take breaks
You gotta hustle 24/7 to be successful, right? Not quite. It is easy to think if we are constantly working we are going to get everything done always. But it’s wrong. This mentality allows you to stay stressed for long periods of time and can make you burn out on work quickly.
If your brain is always on and going, it gets tired and your productivity slows down. So while you may still be working the quality of work could be lowered. It is really similar to not getting enough sleep. The brain isn’t functioning as well as it should be so it is harder to think clearly.
Schedule breaks for yourself and make sure you follow through on them. Go for a walk or sit outside, whatever lets you turn your brain off for a little bit. Whatever you feel like is a small step away from work that can be a reset.
Check out this article that talks about the positive impacts of breaks and how to schedule them into your day.
Give yourself time to relax and recharge. It does wonders for the brain and can help prevent the dreaded burnout.
3. Set realistic goals
Having big dreams and goals for yourself is great. But it is important to break those goals into small and achievable goals otherwise it can feel like you’re drowning in work.
This is a slippery slope to feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.
Think about your main goal and then make a timeline for reaching it. Remember to be realistic with your timeline. Anything time-sensitive or urgent should be addressed quickly.
When I make my timeline for my goals I try to mix up big tasks with smaller tasks too. That way I know I’m chipping away at the big things, while not getting too hung up on them.
Remember the cliche saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? Well, it is very true. Breaking things down into a smaller and more attainable goal helps to keep you motivated.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed by how much you still have to do, you can have that ever satisfying feeling of checking something off your todo list, and who doesn’t love that?
Being burned out at work is a problem no one wants to have. But the good news is that it can be easily avoided.
By creating a routine that you can stick with, taking breaks, and setting realistic goals you can set yourself up a productive workday that won’t leave you feeling burned out.
Don’t let workplace burnout make you feel stressed and dread working.
Use these tricks to avoid burnout while still being productive.