We all want to be on top of our game at work and excel, regardless of whether or not we’re working for someone else, are freelancers, or run our own business.
But if we don’t take care of our physical, mental and spiritual health, we may let things get out of control and our career and personal life will suffer as a result.
I’m talking about the chance of burnout – getting so stressed, overwhelmed, emotionally and physically tired because you don’t rest enough and properly, bite off more than you can chew at work and are anxious and depressed, that you just can’t take it anymore and stop doing your job the way you used to.
If you don’t do something to prevent burnout early on, all this will affect your health, relationships, personal goals, productivity and happiness levels, and almost any other area of life you care about. That will happen simply because you can’t perform well when you’re not in a good condition, don’t have peace of mind and can’t focus.
But there’s so much potential inside all of us and it’s our duty to work on what we believe in every single day, increasing our productivity and getting closer to our goals. To be able to do that while enjoying the whole process, here are some ways to prevent burnout at work and never experience the negative consequences we mentioned above:
1. Look out for early signs
Bad things can be spotted early on if you keep your eyes open for signs that you’re burning out. Here are some of them:
- you can’t sleep well, or have a hard time falling asleep when in bed;
- you wake up tired and feel exhausted before the day has even started, not to mention the bad mood you’re in every morning, which affects your performance;
- you can’t concentrate easily when doing your work, although you used to have laser focus before;
- you can’t stop thinking about everything that happened at work when the workday is over and this overwhelms you, you’re anxious and can’t enjoy your free time;
- there are big changes happening in your life (a career change, moving to a new place, loss of a relative, a breakup, health issues, money issues, etc.) and you’re not handling it well;
- you aren’t motivated to take up new projects at work, can’t wait for the day to be over once you get to the office, don’t enjoy spending time with colleagues or landing new clients.
All these are key to noticing whether or not you’re going in the wrong direction. If that’s not your usual behavior, any negative change means that you’re on your way to burnout.
2. Know how to rest
Most people don’t really know how to do it. Rest doesn’t mean the sleep you get at night. It’s about much more than that.
Relaxing means letting go of all the pressure that usually goes together with work, it means emptying your mind for a while and doing other things that are not work-related.
Here are some ways to start resting properly that will help you prevent burnout and feel peaceful and calm all the time:
- take regular breaks – during work, never go for a long period of time without taking a 10-minute break. Preferably, stop every 30-50 minutes and do something different for a while. That’s a proven method for better concentration after the break and getting things done faster in general;
- meditate – a fantastic practice to develop and do every day is meditating. Include it in your morning or evening routine and start small. Do it just for a few minutes for a start and just try to let go and quiet the thoughts in your head. Think of a happy affirmation and focus on it while breathing deeply. Meditation helps you lower your blood pressure and heart rate, boost your immune system, have peace of mind and grow spiritually. So make it a daily habit;
- improve the quality of your sleep – you need your 8 hours every night but you also need them to be quality. To start sleeping like a baby and wake up in a good mood and full of energy make some little changes to what you do and don’t do in the evening. Stop eating and drinking an hour or two before bedtime for a start, stop using devices and don’t do or talk about anything too emotional. A meditation session, a soothing bad, a good book, some nice music – all these will help your mind and body relax and prepare for sleep.
3. Have some quiet time daily
Stress gets to you mostly because you’re always keeping yourself busy and are always in a hurry. But if you stop every now and then, if you have some me time daily, have some nice rituals and enjoy that quiet time, you won’t get exhausted, be it physically or emotionally.
Start with a peaceful morning only for yourself. Wake up a bit earlier and create the ideal routine to kickstart the day. Begin with making your coffee or tea and drinking it slowly, give journaling a try, read something inspirational, meditate, stretch, include a quick workout or/and a healthy breakfast if you want to.
Do everything slowly, appreciate the early hours of the day and find joy in them, and prepare for the day mentally.
That will help you stay on top of your game till the evening, be calm no matter what unexpected issues come up, and – ultimately – prevent burnout.
4. Start saying no more often
Another thing that can lead to burnout is biting off more than you can chew.
If you’re such a hustler that you feel the need to say yes to every opportunity, new project, client, task or else, you just won’t have enough time and energy, which will stress you out and you’ll get nothing done at some point.
So learn to say no every now and then. That’s a good time management quality actually, as it lets you eliminate the things that aren’t that important and don’t give you enough results, and instead focus more on what’s working for you.
Once you build any of these habits, you’ll feel much better and will prevent burnout at work.
What about you? Do you feel overwhelmed at work? What other ways to prevent burnout do you know?
Article by Lidiya K.