How to Prevent Burnout at Work

There comes a point in every person’s work-life when they can no longer stay productive and active. Heavy workloads and the pressure of stringent deadlines have become fairly common but they also make people feel incredibly overwhelmed and anxious.

Considering that even WHO says that burnout at work is an occupational phenomenon or workplace issue, certain changes in your personal and professional life to tackle burnout better are essential. Feelings of cynicism and exhaustion are valid but you need to take care of them right away.

Stop and analyze your present conditions, take a break, and start refreshed. You do not have to wait till you are completely burned out to take care of it. Restoring your physical and cognitive strength before you take on more is crucial. So, here are a few simple tips to prevent burnout before you get completely burned out.

Prioritize self-care activities

You feel exhausted and overwhelmed when your body cannot restore its energy at the rate at which it is getting used up. Checking and responding to communications after office hours, excessive screen time, taking on more than you can handle, feeling the pressure of an incredibly high risk and important project, etc are stress triggers. The idea here is to learn to say ‘no’.

We often find ourselves agreeing to new projects without realizing if we have enough bandwidth to accommodate them or not. We need to prioritize self-care in the event of feeling burned out. Assess how much ‘me time’ you have blocked for yourself. Include space for simple activities such as walking, journaling, reading a book, taking a short power nap, meditating, or even cooking. Self-care is different for everyone so include any activity that takes you away from your screen.

Take a close look at your mindset

External factors can hamper your mindset and productivity at work and make you cynical. You need to shift your perspective to be able to bring significant changes in your well being. To tackle cynicism, identify possible stress triggering elements such as a ‘low value high risk’ project or a particularly negative colleague. Choose to avoid interacting with such elements and develop better and meaningful work relationships with others.

Do not take on low priority tasks that can be handled by others. Identify which tasks you can delegate to others. Upon delegation, do not micro-manage the progress and simply allow the other person to take care of it. This helps you take a number of tasks off your list so that you feel less burdened.

Seek rich interpersonal interactions

With numerous tasks to complete and meetings to attend, you begin to feel you are the only person being affected by the stress. However, continued professional development can help you bond with others who are feeling the pressure of work. This mutual support will essentially enable you to brainstorm for solutions better. Consider finding a mentor who can help you get balanced in life. It can be anyone – a senior at work or a work friend. Allow such interpersonal work interactions to drive you to become optimistic.

Feeling a burnout is not a chronic condition; it can be taken care of with these simple changes in your life. Learn how to rebuild your career path in the most positive way possible and lead not just a healthy life but also a successful professional life.

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