How to Overcome Burnout at Work

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How often do you sit at your desk, “wasting” time by simply staring into space because you cannot focus on what you are doing? Do you make to-do lists and then not follow through on them or are you perhaps trying to avoid work altogether? If you work from home or are self-employed, this is of course entirely possible to do but will eventually only lead to more trouble.

If this sounds like you, then it is entirely possible that you are suffering from something called Work Burnout. 

Burnout is a physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.

— Oxford English Dictionary

Career burnout is actually more common, and detrimental to both your health and job, than you may realise. With the rise in awareness for people and their mental health, this burnout is now classes as a psychological condition which can be triggered due to a number of things such as;

  • Workload

  • Lack of control

  • Feeling unappreciated

  • Toxic work environment

I’ve said it before and will say it again, that we cannot pour from an empty cup, so if that perfect work-life balance has been missing for some time then a burnout is an inevitable destination along that road which can lead to exhaustion, detachment, cynicism and a lack of productivity.

So, how can we overcome or avoid a burnout?

Say NO!

If you're spending your days only responding to the requests of others and constantly saying "yes," even though you've got a lot of your own work to do that is not even getting looked at, then burnout is inevitable.

Sometimes you just have to say 'no.' If you don't have the time for any additional tasks or are asked to stay late or work on something that's not a part of your job description, then you need to assert yourself and politely let people know that you can’t accept their requests at the moment as you have your own job to do.

Check the Description

Make a list of all your current tasks that you need to get done and then go ahead and check your job description. It's often surprising how job descriptions don't reflect the work you're actually doing. Show your findings to your boss - by pointing out these extra tasks, you may be able to gain a little leeway by showing that you've been putting in work over and above the parameters of your job.

Get Away

When you start to feel emotionally, mentally and physically drained, that's usually a sign that you need to take some time off. While a two-week holiday sounds like the perfect solution, that may not always be feasible, with holiday allowance restraints or perhaps money – don’t put more pressure on yourself! You could, however, plan for a long weekend. 

When it comes to stress-reduction, you get a much greater benefit from regularly taking three- and four-day weekends. While you're away, try and go off grid as much as possible – put on your out of office email, don’t check it and definitely don’t call in. You need to let go.

When all else fails, you may need to shock your system and change things up. It could be small, like moving your desk to a different section of the office, but if that is not the enough then perhaps consider whether or not you are in fact, on the right path.

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My name is Selina Johnson and I'm a Business Support Expert providing Virtual Business Support to businesses. We help SME's with administrative, technical and creative support so you are free to grow your business and increase your profits.

Contact us today to discuss how we can add value to your business.

0333 3030 907


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