If you’re feeling exhausted…physically, mentally, and emotionally… you may be feeling the effects of work burnout. It’s a common condition that often goes unnoticed until it leads to other health concerns. There is a recent survey on burnout that found almost 50% of employees reported feeling burned out at their current jobs, significantly impacting their productivity at work.Experiencing work burnout doesn’t just negatively impact your ability to function at work but all other aspects of life as well. In this article, we’ll look at four effective strategies to win against work burnout.
Recognize the initial signs of work burnout
Noticing those signs of burnout in the workplace can help people handle it as early as possible. From feeling demotivated at work, lacking a sense of purpose, finding the days disorganized, or showing up to work in a foul mood — these are signs often associated with burnout. These hindrances can manifest in one’s sleep, eating habits, and stress levels. A study on the effects of sleep deprivation lists mood changes, poor cognitive ability and work performance as a consequence of prolonged sleep deprivation. It can be easy to disregard lack of sleep and stress as a one-time occurrence. Having a go-to list of ways to care for your self is an excellent resource for mitigating stress that can lead to burnout. It is also important to recognize when a working environment has become so mentally or emotionally harmful that changes must be made to relieve the symptoms.
Have in-depth conversations on wellness at work
Expressing your feelings and concerns may alleviate symptoms of work burnout. While a support system outside of work is valuable, it’s also essential to have these conversations in the workplace. Jessica Conser, Ph.D. recommends managers and employees to engage in meaningful conversations on wellness. Conversations on wellness should be part of the new normal today. If not part of official work protocol, wellness is ideally discussed naturally from a place of transparency and compassion for each other. Employers can also invest in workplace wellness initiatives by providing mental health support for workers, such as counseling. Therapy can illuminate root causes for the symptoms of burnout such as traumatic or stressful life events — which the workplace may have triggered.
Allow self-reflection on your level of work satisfaction
Counseling and therapy can help, but often, the best way to fight work burnout is by preventing it in the first place. It’s always good to take a step back and assess where you are in your career. A big part of work burnout is the struggle with feelings of stagnation. One way of preventing burnout is through continuing education and learning new skills at work. Investing in your personal and career growth can prevent you from feeling stuck. Self-reflection is necessary to spot when you’re repeating the same mundane routine daily and figure out what needs to be changed. You can make this an annual reflection or a monthly exercise, but it’s important to look at where you are and how satisfied you feel in your job. Self-reflection can also help you look at areas where you might grow and improve.
Set your boundaries between work and life
The term “work-life balance” has been a buzzword since the rise of remote work in the past couple of years and it often ties into risk work burnout that has risen with more and more remote work. Setting work-life balance boundaries can be as simple as deciding when replying to work messages is appropriate, or taking a five- to ten-minute break after every other task. What’s important is that you set enough time in a day away from work so that you don’t tire yourself out or feel suffocated by constantly hustling. Allowing yourself to take breaks and make time for non-work aspects of life in between can mitigate burnout, improve productivity, and reduce mistakes at work. Learning how to be a time management master is one of the most valuable set of skills you can learn to find that work-life balance. It’s important to remember that it IS possible to love and enjoy your work while also enjoying time with friends and family as well as time for fun and leisure outside of work.