Over the years, Americans have begun to spend more time at work. For many people, 40-hour weeks have ballooned into 50, 60, or 70-plus hour weeks. And while this additional time may lead to more productivity, it also comes with some distinct negatives. Chief among these negatives is burnout.
By definition, burnout refers to “the condition of someone who has become very physically and emotionally tired after doing a difficult job for a long time.” It’s also phrased as, “Exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.” Interestingly enough, it’s also the word used to describe a person showing the signs and effects of drug abuse.
As you could rightly assume, the issue of burnout in the workplace is a big problem. And if it hasn’t already affected you at one point in your career, don’t think you’re immune. It can strike at any moment and only you can prevent it.
4 Tips for Preventing Work Burnout
Here are a few practical tips you can use to prevent work-related burnout:
· Identify triggers. Burnout at work is often related to stress at home. For example, if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you probably feel like you have to work more hours to earn extra money to pay the bills. This can ultimately lead to burnout, which worsens the situation. By identifying stress triggers and dealing with them, you can improve the long-term outlook of your career.
· Ask for a change. Did you know that staying in the same environment for too long hampers your creativity and passion? If you’ve been in the same office or cubicle for years, politely ask your boss if there’s any way you can move. Better yet, find out if there are any opportunities to work remotely. Changing up your surroundings can provide new energy and excitement for a job that remains the same.
· Take a break. Many companies have policies that simply require employees to work a set amount of hours each day. This inevitably leads to employees doing whatever they can to leave before 5 pm. For example, if you only take a 30-minute lunch instead of a one-hour lunch, you can leave half an hour early. Avoid this temptation, however. Use your full hour of lunch and get some exercise, read a book, or take a quick nap.
· Communicate. Far too many employees bottle up their emotions and never speak their minds at work. These are also the employees that tend to suffer higher rates of burnout. It’s important that you communicate with your superiors when you’re stressed or in a rut. You may be surprised to find that they’re actually willing to help you change things up.
Don’t wait until you’re burned out to make a change. Proactively seek ways to make your career more exciting and fulfilling. These four tips provide a great place to start – what are you waiting for?