4 Ways to Avoid a Burnout at Work

I’d like to be transparent for a moment. I really think the age-old adage, “You’ll never a work a day in your life if you love what you do”, is subjective. Every job has its ups and downs, no matter how passionate you are about what you’re doing. There’s always going to be periods where you’re clocking in long hours, feeling the pressure of tight deadlines and having too many responsibilities to feasibly handle.

Unfortunately, these factors can play a big role in causing burnouts. But the good news is, there are some ways to keep your head in the game and stay motivated. Check out these four tips to keep you from burning out too quickly:

Prioritize tasks. The first thing that will keep you from overworking yourself and burning out too quickly is prioritizing your daily tasks. I am what my boss calls “hyper-organized” (a Type A personality trait), and because of that, I am always making lists of what I need to get done for the day and what holds priority. This way, I can let people know if deadlines need to be pushed back, or if something will be ready sooner than planned. Though it may seem tedious, doing this has been a life saver for me and a lesson I learned with experience.

Take strategic breaks. Working from the moment you sit down at your desk to the time you’re clocking out is not the best approach to keeping yourself from feeling overwhelmed during the work day. That’s why taking strategic breaks during your day is imperative. Majority of people are most productive during peak morning hours, so take that opportunity to get the tasks done that require the most attention and brain power. And then, take a break!

Get up, grab a coffee, or stretch your legs outside–whatever you like to do to clear your mind. After you’ve had a refreshing break, get back to it. Taking these sort of mental breaks during the day will help you stifle that overworked feeling.

Stop multi-tasking. Listen up Millennials—I know our generation is known for being the masters of multitasking, but that isn’t necessarily the best way to approach your work. When you direct small bouts of attention to various projects, you’ll never get done with all of your tasks, which threatens tight deadlines. And that, in turn, induces serious stress.

So put down your phone, log off Twitter, quit automatically responding to emails every time you get a notification, and focus on one task at a time. You’ll be much more productive, and have you’ll have a better handle on what’s ahead.

Speak up when it’s too much. If you get to the point where you feel like you are barely treading water with the amount of work you’re being asked to do, speak up. Many people, including myself, may have trouble either saying “no” to taking on more work or promising to meet deadlines that are just not realistic for one person to commit to.

Let your manager know that you’re feeling overwhelmed, and that you need assistance. You’re the only person who knows how much you can handle, and you’re the only person who can drive the line of communication to your manager or coworkers when you feel like you’re taking on too much.

Avoiding a burn out can be as simple as recognizing that you’re taking on too much, or that you just simply need a little break. So before you mentally check out and start looking for an exit route, try our four tips to stay motivated.

About Andrea D.

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