How to Avoid Burnout at Work

I am often asked how do you avoid burnout? This is especially true when you find yourself spending too many hours on a certain project. Especially those that are drawn out and does not seem to have an end to it.

If you work and work and find no more interest in your work, you will soon find yourself burning out. You work on a certain project day-in day-out. Surely, there will be days when you feel burned out. How do you avoid it?

1. Be Practical
How to avoid burnout? There is only so much you can do in a day. There is no need to put too much into a day. Your craft needs artistic juice. Those juice needs space and time and energy. So, be practical with what you can do. Do not overwhelm yourself with things that are too distant into the future. Realistically ask yourself – what can I fit within the time that I have? Then do those.

Don’t stress yourself with what you cannot fit in. Learn to say no when you truly just cannot take in anymore. You are better off being productive and calm than destructive and stressed to your boss and colleagues. When you say “no”, you aren’t just doing yourself a favor. You are doing your boss and colleagues a favor too. Saying “no” is one way on how to avoid burnout.

2. Inspiration from Perspiration
This sounds like it is contradicting from the earlier advice. It is not. Sometimes you will get so bogged down that you freeze. You do nothing. In such cases, start doing. As you act upon a project it starts to gain momentum and therein lays inspiration. It’s like when you are lazy to exercise. Once you start moving, the laziness dies.

But the trick really is to focus on ONE thing. Not multiple things within a project. If you do too much, you risk experiencing burnout. This leads on to the next tip on how to avoid burnout.

3. One-step from Now
Do just ONE thing. One next step. What is the ONE next step that takes you closer to you completing your project? Do that first. Say for example, there is a huge project that has just landed on your lap. You need to do a proposal and then put the team together. Ask what is your ONE important next step? Perhaps it is to just think of a framework for your proposal? Then do that. Write down the framework. The rest cannot happen unless that framework is done. What is next? Perhaps a timeline? Then do that. When you focus on one next thing, you do not get overwhelmed. That helps you avoid being burnout.

Some people use the word burnout very easily when what they really feel is stressed out. Regardless, you should be watchful about the signs of burnout. Read more on burnout here.

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