It happens to the best of us: you’re really passionate about your line of work, but with enough time and enough deadlines piled on, you begin to grow weary. You keep trudging on, showing up each day and doing your job, but the spark is beginning to fade away. Before you know it, you feel like a walking zombie, operating on autopilot and getting no joy out of something you normally love to do.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a career change. Even those working their dream jobs are at risk of experiencing burnout: when you overwork or stress yourself out to the point where you lose all joy, inspiration, and satisfaction the job once provided. Luckily, you can recover from burnout. Here are five tips to try next time you feel overworked and overwhelmed.
1. Get away.
When experiencing burnout, the best thing you can do is step away from your job for a bit. Whether you take just a weekend or a personal day or two, remember what your life is like away from work. While you’re taking this time, don’t spend it answering work emails or researching that big project from home. Truly take a break.
Of course, sometimes you’re not always able to book time off from work. What then? Let a few coworkers and even your boss know you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. They may be able to lighten your workload for a week or two until you feel refreshed and ready to tackle your daily job responsibilities again.
Is your culture more than free food and foosball?
Build a culture that goes beyond benefits.
2. Assess your duties.
Once you’re not at your desk, you can think more clearly about what you do day in and day out. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut at your job, and this may be causing your dissatisfaction. How can you change up your day so you still get the same tasks done but not in the same order? Alter your routine and you’re likely to feel rejuvenated instead of bored.
3. Assign tasks to others.
The fact of the matter is you can’t do everything yourself, as much as you wish you could. Don’t be afraid to divvy up tasks to your coworkers. If someone asks you to do a huge project and you know you’re already swamped, call on another employee and ask if the two of you can work on the project together. Not only does this strengthen work bonds with others, but it also relieves you of the intense workload you’d otherwise have to deal with.
4. Don’t overload yourself.
Speaking of workloads, reassess yours. Do you take every little assignment that comes your way? Do you often have to juggle with multiple deadlines at once, scrambling to get everything in on time? That’s no way to work. While every job has moments of pressure, these should not be constant. That near-permanent stress will burn you out very quickly, in which case you won’t be able to get much done.
5. Learn some stress-busting techniques.
Of course, stress is a part of everyone’s life. It can even act as a motivator. However, constant stress is horrible for productivity. It affects both mental and physical health. That said, you’ll never be able to avoid stress entirely. Even if you take some time off work for burnout, you’ll experience stress again when you come back. That’s why it’s crucial to know how to manage stress.
Try some physical activities like yoga. Conscious breathing and meditating can also calm you down. Whatever works for you, keep it in the back of your mind as a go-to for those tough days at work.