10 Ways To Curb Burnout
With long hours and important projects, burnout can seem inevitable in the modern working world. However, there are steps you can take to lessen the impact of a heavy workload and prevent burnout. Burnout goes hand in hand with stress, anxiety, and even depression, making it vital to contain while you still can.
It is essential that you take care of yourself while running your business, which is why we have compiled ten tools to help you curb burnout and live a well-rounded life.
1. Invest in Stress Management
Burnout is associated with crashing after excessive amounts of stress and work. Therefore, investing in stress management is a major key to preventing it. Every day, in small ways, you can take action and reduce your stress. Through techniques such as mindfulness, deep breathing, journaling, kickboxing, or talking to a friend, find something that works for you and be diligent about sticking to it.
2. Evaluate Your Workload and Delegate Tasks
If burnout has become a serious concern or pattern during your work life, focus on fixing the problem at its root. Evaluate every part of your workload. Identify where you are spending your time and which projects are falling through the cracks. Ask yourself which tasks are the most critical for you to be involved with and then think about who can help you with other tasks moving forward.
When you do not know how to move forward on a project, ask who has capacity or interest and get their help. Trust and involve teammates by delegating portions of your workload. This will free up your mind to concentrate on the most important tasks.
3. Start Saying No
When approaching burnout, there is nothing worse than receiving a new pile of responsibilities. Have the self-insight to know when to say NO! Know your limits and politely decline to take on projects that are going to wreck your work-life balance and throw your current projects off track.
4. Take a Mental Health Day
Once in a while, we all need a mental health day. Life and work stressors can become too much and we need breaks. Find a day in your schedule that is relatively free of deadlines and play hooky. Turn off your phone and do not check your email to get the full benefit of your break. Chances are that you will return to work the next day reinvigorated and ready to tackle your next challenge.
Startup entrepreneurs often don’t have the luxury to take an entire day off of work. There is a compromise. Work half of the day intensely then take the second half off to go clear your mind with a loved one. Don’t worry- you’ll come back more focused and energized.
5. Go on a Relaxing Vacation
Although Americans are notorious for not using all of their vacation days, taking an extended break will help you recharge and do your best work when you get back to the office. In fact, studies show that individuals who do not take all of their vacation days underperform and have more workplace woes when compared those that do. Everyone – even those at the top of their game – needs time off.
If you’re a startup entrepreneur– this means you too! Take a weekend vacation once 3-4 months. To offset the cost and time spent on the vacation, Creatively plan your next phase of business development from a beautiful hotel room, relaxing beach, or poolside. Knock out a few tasks in the morning and then enjoy the rest of your day stress free. It’s important to recharge- keep your perspective clear and ambition high!
6. Spend Time with Family and Friends
Spend time with your core support system. Socializing outside of work is important to maintaining a balanced and fulfilling life. Family and friends provide valuable insight on work matters because they know you best. A different perspective coming from someone who trusts and loves you allows you to think about work stressors in a different light. While you work hard to support your family, remember that they are part of the reason you are working so hard.
7. Eat Good Food
Evaluate how you are fueling your body and mind. A healthy diet increases natural energy, concentration, and stamina. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar– each will increase burnout by peaking and depleting natural energy. Try eating brain healthy foods like walnuts, avocados, blueberries, and salmon.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated to offset caffeine intake. Water helps the brain function and reduces stress levels.
Be sure to identify healthy options for those quick bites in-between meetings. Don’t allow convenience to sabotage the quality of fuel you put in your body. You wouldn’t put regular gas in a Benz, you’d put premium- no matter what. Treat your body the same. Remember, you will need it for the rest of your life to keep earning more money!
8. Get Active
Exercise has a multitude of health benefits. Just like eating correctly, it will help your body work more effectively, boost your mood and energy, and help with concentration.
It can be challenging to stay active during a long workday- but that’s no excuse. Wake up 45 minutes earlier and hit the gym for a short, intense workout. After work, run a mile or go to yoga. Leave your desk every hour or two and walk a lap around the building or up the stairs.
On your days off, fit in a long workout and schedule shorter workouts a few times during the work week. Do what works best for you, whether that is going to the gym, practicing yoga at home, or going for a walk around the block.
Devoting time to center yourself through meditation can help you deter the onset or side effects of burnout. Through achieving a sense of calm and focusing on simple techniques like breathing, stress is interrupted and life is put into a greater perspective. While many people view meditation as being completely separate from financial freedom, many people have used the benefits of meditation for business success.
If you’ve never tried meditation or don’t think you would like it or be good at it, read The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It will change your life.
10. Be Creative
Make the most of your off-work hours by feeding into your creative endeavors. Whether it is cooking, dancing, or painting, find your outlet for self-expression and make it a priority once a week. By allowing your mind the freedom to create, thinking outside the box during off-hours may help you do the same when you are back on the clock. Being creative in the office can help you mix up your workload and find solutions to ongoing problems.
Do What Works Best for You
Just like many aspects of your daily work, taking time to curb burnout is a long-lead item that is important to your success.
Be purposeful in enhancing your overall wellbeing. As you go through your week, pick one or two items from this list and try them out. No matter which techniques you choose, build them into your schedule and treat that time as sacred. Let us know what you try and how you felt afterwards.
How have you successfully managed burnout in the past? Which techniques worked best for you? Let us know in the comments!