Burnout is what we’re talking about today, and we see it a lot in the news. We’re going to focus on how you can avoid burnout and next week, we’ll focus on how you can beat it.
To start, we need to understand what burnout is. Contrary to popular belief, burnout is a little more complicated than the average stressful day at work. Burnout generally happens to high performers in their 20s or 30s, in the first 10 years of their career and has all kinds of side effects. Side effects that range from repeatedly getting sick, changes in eating, sleep or drinking habits and physical pain. It can have a very real effect on their performance and career, and few bounce back easily.
Okay, so now that we’re thoroughly terrified, what are some ways we can simply avoid burnout?
- Encourage an environment of work during work hours (not after). Rather than sending emails at every hour, set up a scheduler that will allow people to write their email whenever the thought comes, but it waits to send until a more reasonable work hour.
- Break out from the “lunch at your desk” conundrum by eating in a different location. Even if it’s 10 minutes away from your desk it’s good to give your brain (and eyes) a break. If you see someone eating at their desk, invite them to take a walk with you to grab lunch. Not only will you be helping two people get a break, you’ll make a new work acquaintance!
- Promote a healthy lifestyle by encouraging people to join you on a post-work walk or run. Schedule your workouts so you can step out of the office to get some sweat going. Try to bring healthy lunches, and if you’re buying, opt for the whole grains and healthy meals rather than that slice of pizza
- Be honest with your workload. Have you been running a hundred miles an hour? Take a moment to connect with yourself and see if it’s because you’re overwhelmed, or, if maybe you need to reevaluate how smart you’re working. Start cutting out the fat, and focus on if your current load is simply too much for one person. If it is, speak up and propose some solutions. Maybe one element of your job could be shared with another person, or, you could find something to automate.
Burnout is very real and scary thing, and hopefully these tips can help you stay away from it. But, it can happen to anyone, so next week, we’ll focus on some tips of what you can do to beat burnout if you’re already in it. Cheers to no burnout.