Recognizing And Then Avoiding Burnout

Burnout. We’ve all been there at some point in our jobs. Usually, the burnout happens very close to a vacation. Today, a lot more folks are engaged in remote work. Even though you might be in comfortable surroundings, you can still experience burnout. In fact, it might even be accelerated because you’re feeling isolated. The first step is to recognize what burnout looks like. It usually has three “qualities:”

• Detachment
• Inefficiency

When you’re experiencing burnout at work, your energy levels are depleted. It is a struggle just to get through the day. That energy drain leads to detachment. This has you mentally distancing yourself from your job. In extreme cases of burnout, you could start to be cynical about your job asking, “Why bother?” A combination of exhaustion and detachment can trigger inefficiency. Your productivity will lag and the work you do complete might be subpar. Any one of those elements is a problem but when you’re dealing with all three, you’re facing a burnout crisis.

Here’s what you can do to combat your burnout:

Take a Brain Break

You should try to add a few brain break sessions throughout the day. These can be 5 to 20-minute sessions of mediation, reading or exercising. If you’re working from home, then use that break to bake something rewarding. These breaks should not feel like a chore. Having a cup of coffee when reading company emails doesn’t count. Having that coffee while looking out your window does.

Take a Recovery Break

A recovery break is like an extended brain break and should happen at the end of the day for 30 minutes. For instance, if you’re working at home, then try to stop at 4:30 and spend the next 30 minutes on your “brain break” activity. Then rejoin the family. You’ll feel refreshed and relaxed going into the evening.

Take Back Control

A burnout is triggered by “stressors.” These are the things that might be out of your control. You need to recognize those stressors and embrace the fact that they are out of your control. For instance, remote working with kids is going to mean interruptions. A lot of interruptions. If you can’t change that by setting boundaries, then roll with it. Let your bosses know this is the “new normal.” Everyone will understand and you’ll be less stressed. This is not the time for perfection.