In our culture, we have a tradition of admiring people who stay busy. Unfortunately, for many professionals embracing that belief, it can mean losing fulfillment both at home and in their careers. If you want to avoid burnout, consider incorporating a few changes into your lifestyle to help you keep things balanced and feel more satisfaction in both the personal and professional realms.
Are you burning out?
Being busy is one thing, but burnout is a reality that can sidetrack your home life and career. When you continually overextend your time and energy, you put yourself at risk.
Even if you love your job, friends and family, without proper balance and healthy coping skills, you could be heading for trouble. Ask yourself if you recognize any of these signs of burnout:
- Feeling fatigued all the time
- Poor motivation
- Feeling cynical or frustrated
- Difficulty concentrating
- Waning performance or productivity
- Unhealthy choices (poor eating habits, failure to exercise, self-medicating)
- Continually thinking about work
- Reduced general satisfaction
- Increased health problems
All too often, we equate stress with success. A little bit of stress is helpful, such as when you’re preparing for a job interview or competing athletically, but our minds and bodies aren’t designed to be under a continual onslaught of stressful situations.
In fact, chronic stress appears to be linked with cardiovascular disease, digestive trouble, reduced immune function, and neck and back pain. It’s important to address this stress — and make positive changes to help reduce those feelings.
Lighten your workload
Being passionate about your job is wonderful, but cutting back can ease your schedule as well as your mind. Do you have tasks you could pass to other team members? Think about delegating some of your to-do list more often, and if you don’t have others who are properly qualified for something unworthy of your time, consider outsourcing it.
If funds or people power are a concern, another option is to add technology that facilitates routine tasks. For instance, bookkeeping, scheduling and communication can all be streamlined with well-chosen apps.
Positive coping methods to avoid burnout
There are healthy, natural ways to manage stress that you can incorporate into your business day. One natural stress management method is meditation. Harvard Health Publishing notes mindfulness meditation could potentially lower your levels of stress and anxiety. Not only that, it’s convenient since you can slip in some breathing exercises from your car, in the office, or wherever you happen to be when you feel the tension rising.
Yoga is another natural solution since it incorporates mindfulness with physical activity. If you aren’t getting in workouts, consider adding it to your lifestyle — it’s multitasking at its best! And supplements may be something to discuss with your healthcare professionals when it comes to stress management, as they may help regulate your mood and decrease anxiety.
Boost personal efficiency
After parceling out tasks as much as possible, boosting personal efficiency can free up time and energy for things like working out or dinner with the family. Prioritize work carefully, and flex timing on less important tasks. Do your top items when your energy is best, so if you’re a morning person, schedule key meetings early in the day, and so forth. Lump lower priorities into low-energy, open slots in your schedule. And lastly, consider whether your workstation could be more efficient since you might not even notice that your office surrounding is slowing you down.
Burnout is a real thing, so avoid putting yourself at risk. Find healthy ways to manage stress, reduce your workload, and improve your efficiency. Balancing your personal and professional life can improve your health and save your career.