Burnout is a real and quite damaging condition and can have a significant impact on your resilience and ability to enjoy life. Once you find yourself suffering from burnout, it can be difficult to turn your life around. This is why it is crucial to take steps to try and avoid burnout.
- Set Boundaries
No matter what your profession may be, it’s important to have boundaries. You can’t be available around the clock; it’s just not possible. You’ve heard me say, “Don’t let the well run dry.” One step to take to avoid burnout is to establish clear boundaries. Let others know when you’re “off the clock.” This means that you won’t be in the office or station, and you won’t be available by phone or email during these times. If you are in a management position, it might help to post these hours somewhere or adjust your email auto-reply, so people know you will answer as soon as you are available. If being available in case of emergency is important, it can be helpful to have an assistant or other person who is very familiar with the work you do and is able to screen the truly urgent calls.
- Have A Work-Life Balance
What is your favorite thing to do? Take a minute to imagine yourself doing that.
Got it? Now let me ask you, “When is the last time you did that?” Besides just setting boundaries, you need to have time to do things that aren’t work related. This means you have time for your hobbies, your family, and just doing what you love. This doesn’t have to be complicated, and it could be as simple as taking one afternoon a week to go for a walk in your favorite park. Whatever it might be, it needs to be something you want to do, and you need to put your foot down if someone or something ever tries to interfere.
- Put Yourself First
Whatever could be going on at your job, if you start not to feel well or feel overwhelmed, you need to put yourself first. This means that, even if your group just started a new project, if you need a mental health day, you take one. It’s not a sign of weakness. Rather, it is a sign of strength to take care of yourself. You won’t be of any use to your team if burnout is creeping in and your physical and mental abilities begin to deteriorate.
Putting yourself first is especially important when you start to feel the symptoms of an illness. Although it may be tempting to say it’s just a cold and go to work anyway, this will only make you feel worse and bring the chances of burnout even closer. Stay home. Get the rest your body needs.
Overall, in this day and age, it may seem difficult to avoid the burnout. But you can—as long as you remember to set boundaries, have a work-life balance, and put yourself first. And if you follow these tips, not only will you avoid the damages of burnout, you’ll also go through life feeling less stressed and more happiness.