INtelligent Direct: 3 Simple Tips to Avoid Burnout
Even if you love your job, the never-ending projects, emails and meeting notifications can build up until you are far beyond your capacity as a living, working human. Stress is inevitable with any job, but here are some tips to help avoid a full burnout.
Take a break and fully (or partially) unplug
Vacation is time to unwind, enjoy new experiences or do whatever you want to recharge your battery to make you a more productive and happier employee. As people are putting in more hours, or are unable to disconnect for various reasons, vacation can be more effort than enjoyment. Communicate with your clients and co-workers leading up to your vacation. Utilize your teammates by delegating critical work and leave non-critical work for when you return. Even if just for a couple of days, a break from our work-connected devices can help recharge and provide more focus on your return.
If the thought of your inbox filling up brings you stress, then your vacation may be counterintuitive. Consider dedicating a certain part of your vacation or a portion of each day to scan your email. For example, schedule an hour in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee and scan your inbox and decide what is urgent and requires action, what can be flagged and dealt with when you return and what can be deleted. Rather than constantly checking for new messages, dealing with a bulk of messages at a determined time can help alleviate the stress of an overwhelming inbox upon return and not distract you from your vacation.
Rely on your team
A good team has each other’s back. If you know there are certain tasks that will trigger stress, perhaps delegating the work to an accommodating teammate is an option worth pursuing. You don’t need to only rely on your team when you are out of the office; it’s OK to ask for help when you are in the office and approaching capacity. A collaborative and supportive team will help manage the workload and allow individuals to work with purpose to avoid potential burnout.
If you are fortunate enough to have access to a gym, studio or outdoor recreation area at or near your work, take advantage. We’ve all heard the term runner’s high, but you don’t need to be a marathoner to reap the benefits of exercise on your brain. When you increase your heart rate you are pumping more oxygen to your brain, which provides an environment for the growth of brain cells. Even if you don’t have access to a gym, a 15-minute walk, taking a few trips up and down the stairs or other activity can help alleviate stress. Post exercise, your mind is sharper, and your body will be energized to get back to your daily tasks.
Managing your stress is the key to avoiding burnout. We work in a connected world. For good or bad, we carry our work with us in our pocket everywhere we go. It is important for employees’ health and productivity to find a work-life harmony that is sustainable long term.