Burnout is not a myth. It is a real thing that happens to real people. And it does not discriminate. Whether you are the boss managing your own business, or an employee helping to keep your boss’s business thriving, you can fall prey to burnout. And it is easy enough to spot.
If you feel chronically exhausted doing a job you used to enjoy, chances are you are experiencing the onset of burnout. Other symptoms to look out for include reduced creativity and productivity, irritability, increased cynicism, and even physical manifestations like headaches. These burnout symptoms can break your career or be detrimental to your business. That is why you must prevent burnout at all costs. Try these strategies.
Discover a new hobby
You need something to take your mind off work. Consider a new hobby, something fun to do outside the office. For example, if you have always been fascinated with sports like tennis, table tennis, and badminton, why not try out pickleball, which combines aspects of those paddleball sports?
Find a pickleball court near your house or office. Get yourself a pickleball buddy. Every time work stuff gets a little too overwhelming, sweat it out by paddling a ball in your opponent’s direction. Here the key is to redirect stress and anxiety into physical activity so that they do not build up and threaten to trigger burnout.
Ideally, you have social circles outside of work. Once you start to notice that people from work have monopolized even your social life, you have a problem. You need to exist outside of your job or the business that you do. Now, if all of your friends happen to be professional colleagues, even your Friday nights will start to feel and look like Monday morning.
So, reconnect with your friends from high school or college. Catch up with them and talk about stuff that has nothing to do with your source of income. Make your weekends fun again.
Learn to say no
If you are an employee, you want to impress your immediate superior. After all, they will be in charge of your eventual promotion. Meanwhile, if you are the boss, you also want to impress your employees. You want to be respected, as opposed to a feared, leader. These motivations might pressure you to say yes to everything at work. So long as they are part of your job description and you have yet to be inundated with deliverables, there is no problem. But if you are saying yes to stuff you can no longer pull off, you are sabotaging yourself.
Learn to decline work you can no longer do, most especially if other people at the office can do it. Do not set yourself up for failure.
This can be more difficult if you are in charge of your own business. But it is still doable. The important thing is training your brain to switch off work-related concerns once you walk out of the office.
Chances are, you juggle many aspects of living. You have your professional ventures alongside personal preoccupations. You must put boundaries between these things. That way, you do not overwhelm your mental and emotional wavelengths.
Reward yourself for a job well done
Do not be a martyr. Every time you accomplish something, especially if done excellently, reward yourself. This reward does not have to be grand. It can be as simple as a fancy dinner with your significant other. The goal is to condition your mind into thinking that good things await at the end of a dark tunnel. That dark tunnel being days and nights of hard work to accomplish a deliverable.
Moreover, never skip that yearly vacation. You earned it. So make the most of it. Make new memories you can cherish every time it gets too stressful at the office.
Do not let anyone convince you that burnout is just an excuse for incompetence. It is not. And you will know how real it gets once you experience burnout first-hand. But getting a first-hand experience of burnout should not factor into your professional bucket list. You have a lot to accomplish to even give burnout the time of day.
So follow the strategies listed above. They might spell the difference between a smooth-sailing career and one disrupted by waves of fatigue and apathy, otherwise known as burnout. Meanwhile, if you have recently gone through burnout, do not fret. You can bounce back from the condition. Just have faith in yourself and the power you hold within you.