According to a recent study, one in four workers experiences symptoms of burnout. With extended hours and increasing demands, it’s no wonder that so many of us are struggling to keep up. Many of us try to push through the fatigue and keep working, but this isn’t sustainable (or healthy). Eventually, we all need to take a break. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are a few tips for avoiding burnout:
1. Make a list of your tasks for the day.
When you have a lot on your plate, it can be helpful to sit down and list everything you need to do. This will help you prioritize your tasks and ensure you do not forget anything. Once you’ve made your list, try to tackle the most critical tasks first. This will help you feel more productive and less stressed.
An excellent way to prioritize your tasks is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This technique categorizes tasks into four quadrants:
– Quadrant 1: Urgent and important (e.g., deadlines)
– Quadrant 2: Important, but not urgent (e.g., planning)
– Quadrant 3: Urgent, but not important (e.g., interruptions)
– Quadrant 4: Not urgent and not important (e.g., checking social media)
Depending on your job, you may have more tasks in one quadrant than another. However, it’s essential to try and balance your tasks across all four quadrants. Otherwise, you may constantly react to urgent but unimportant tasks (Quadrant 3), which can lead to burnout.
2. Make sure your office is comfortable.
Exhaustion can be exacerbated by physical discomfort. If your office isn’t comfortable, it can be even harder to get through the day. Make sure your chair is supportive and that your desk is at a comfortable height. If you can, invest in a standing desk or an ergonomic mouse and keyboard. These comfortable office furniture pieces can help reduce muscle strain and fatigue.
You may also want to consider the lighting in your office. Eye strain can contribute to headaches and fatigue if you’re staring at a computer screen all day. Try to position your desk near a window to take advantage of natural light. If that’s not possible, ensure your office has good-quality artificial lighting.
3. Take breaks throughout the day.
It’s essential to take breaks when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Get up and walk around or step outside for some fresh air. Taking a few minutes to yourself can help you recharge and feel refreshed. Many people find it helpful to set a timer for breaks. This way, you’re less likely to get caught up in your work and forget to take a break.
Some people use the Pomodoro Technique to break down their work into 25-minute intervals. Every 25 minutes, you take a five-minute break. After four “pomodoros,” you take a more extended break (15-20 minutes). This technique can help you stay focused and prevent burnout. You can download a Pomodoro timer app on your phone or use a kitchen timer to keep track of your intervals.
4. Talk to your boss about your workload.
Talk to your boss about it if you’re feeling overloaded at work. They may be able to redistribute some of your tasks or give you some additional help. It’s essential to communicate with your boss so they know what’s going on and how they can help you avoid burnout. Managers should be aware of the signs of burnout and take steps to prevent it.
But if your boss is the source of your stress (e.g., they’re constantly demanding more from you), it may be time to look for a new job. In this case, it’s important to take care of yourself and not let your job consume you. Try to maintain a healthy work-life balance, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
5. Schedule time for yourself outside of work.
It’s important to have hobbies and interests outside of work, so you don’t become too bogged down by your job. Make sure to schedule time for yourself so you can relax and unwind without thinking about work all the time. Setting aside time for yourself can help you avoid burnout.
Some people find it helpful to set boundaries between work and personal life. For example, you may decide not to check work email after a certain time or only respond to work calls during working hours. This can help you disconnect from work and focus on other things. You may also consider taking a vacation or some time off work. This can help you recharge and come back feeling refreshed.
Burnout is a common problem among workers today, but there are ways to avoid it. The tips above can help you stay healthy and prevent burnout. No matter what, it’s essential to take care of yourself and not let your job consume you. With a little effort, you can maintain a healthy work-life balance and avoid burnout.