5 Techniques To Stay Productive When Suffering From BurnoutAUTHOR: Noah Rue
If you are constantly fighting to stay awake and alert at work or you dread going to the office the moment you open your eyes in the morning, then you may be experiencing burnout. It’s a phenomenon that can often occur when you no longer have the mental or physical strength to do your current work, or you are so overwhelmed that you feel like you are drowning the second you sit down at your desk.
The first solution to experiencing burnout is to leave the negative atmosphere. However, if you need to continue working to pay the bills or you have a plan that you can’t implement just yet, then you may have to work through the burnout until your situation improves. Let’s talk about a few steps to be successful in doing so.
1. Understand Burnout
The first step to working through your burnout is to learn about burnout and to identify if you are experiencing the symptoms of it or any other mental health condition. As mentioned, burnout typically occurs when you are overworked for too long, or you set up your life in such a way that you aren’t giving yourself a chance to breathe. In addition to being generally overwhelmed, the symptoms of burnout can include a sense of failure, loss of motivation, and feelings of helplessness.
While it is not technically considered a medical issue, there can also be physical signs of burnout, including headaches, sleepiness, and it can also lead to acid reflux and other gastrointestinal disturbances. If you are dealing with a combination of these mental and physical symptoms, then you need to start looking for solutions.
2. Pace Yourself
A good first step that you should consider is to slow down and take control of your situation instead of letting it control you. There may be a lot of work to do, but stressing out and rushing will only lead you to experiencing more anxiety, and it will likely lead to a decline in the quality of your work. There is no doubt that rushing leads to errors. When you slow down, you will find that you are more focused, and when you are handing over quality work, you will feel better overall.
3. Talk To Your Managers
When you slow down your work, there is also a chance that your managers will notice that there is a drop-off in production, but the solution is not to speed up again. Instead, you need to request a meeting with your supervisor and tell them honestly about how you feel and the tools you need to succeed. Inform them that you are experiencing feelings of burnout and that you need a change, or you may need to go elsewhere for a more suitable work environment. If you are uncomfortable speaking to your manager, then request a meeting with human resources.
4. Maintain A Work/Life Balance
Sometimes burnout may not be the result of an overbearing boss. Instead, it may be self-inflicted. Maybe you have an attitude of “if the work is there, then I should take it,” or you work from home, and you think that since you don’t have a commute, you can work longer hours. While this might work on a temporary basis for a large project, over time, it will result in burnout. The solution is to maintain a good work-life balance.
That means setting an alarm and ending the workday at the same time every shift. At closing time, leave your phone on your desk and walk away, so you are not distracted by work. There is a reason that we work 40 hours per week, and that is because that is the limit we reach before we need a chance to refresh. Also, take your breaks and lunches every day so you can decompress. Finally, be sure that you make time to be with your family, play a video game, or partake in another hobby that you enjoy. Doing something fun like that could even be your reward at the end of the week.
5. Practice Self-Motivation
If you continue to experience feelings of anxiety and burnout, then you may need to rely on self-motivation to get you through the day. For example, since you are working so hard during the week, a reward might be a nice dinner out at a fancy restaurant that you have always wanted to try, or it could be a weekend at the beach.
If several other members of your office are also experiencing burnout, then you could also organize a group reward that might include drinks at the hot restaurant in town on Friday after work or a trip to the bowling alley. If you do decide on a group event, just be sure that it fits within everyone’s budget and time constraints, so no one is left out.
As you can see, there are many different techniques and strategies that you can try to work through burnout. Just remember that these will likely be temporary fixes, and you will need to find a final solution, or your burnout could get worse. Follow these tips, and you’ll live a much happier life.