Why You Should Plan To Burn Out

Meetings. Assignments. Deadlines. Email. Phone calls. Texts. Reports. Trips. Projects. Some days the demands of the job seem never-ending. A hectic day now and then is manageable. String too many together, though, and you risk burnout. How do you spot it? Burned-out employees dread going to work, and, once there, they have negative attitudes and interactions. Eyes are on the clock, watching the hands drag slowly toward quitting time.

Here’s a novel way to prevent burnout: plan for it. No, that doesn’t mean resigning yourself to its inevitability. Instead, see burnout as a potential consequence of your frenetic work schedule, and take steps to prevent it. Make changes both at home and in the workplace, and you can avoid that awful workplace dread.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

If you’re feeling close to burnout, one more assignment might just push you over the edge. Be fair to yourself, and ask others to be reasonable, as well. When your boss is about to pile more work one, point out what’s already on your plate. That could get you a reprieve, at least for the present.

When you’ve got too much to do, seek help. It’s not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of good time management skills. You shouldn’t have 10 things on your desk that all have to be done immediately. If you can’t accomplish that, you’re not a poor employee. You’re merely mortal. Finding a better workflow can help ease the burden.

Do some prioritizing. Since time is linear, you simply can’t finish everything at once. Identify what must absolutely, positively, unquestionably be completed first. Then work your way down the list. Accept that some tasks go the end of the queue, and stop worrying about them. You’ll get there.

Break It Up                                                                        

When you face a large project, it can seem overwhelming. Don’t tackle it all at once, because, well, you can’t. That’s not the way complicated tasks get finished. Think about it: a chef doesn’t make a baked Alaska in one step. There are multiple phases, because the dessert has sponge cake, frozen ice cream and baked meringue. The recipe must be handled as a process, or you’ll end up with a sticky mess.

It’s the same at your job (minus the ice cream, probably). Each complex project consists of several small components. Before jumping in, identify those pieces and prioritize them. Then start at the beginning and work your way through. You won’t stress out as much about finishing. Each time you complete a segment, you’ll experience success and realize you’re that much closer to your endpoint.

Catch Your Breath

One sure way to accelerate burnout is to try to be on task every second. Humans aren’t made that way. You can actually be more productive if you build in short breaks throughout the day. Get away from your workstation to give your eyes and mind a rest. Move around to energize your body. Take a snack break, go for a short walk or get a drink of water. You’ll return refreshed and more focused.

If it’s possible, change your work location a few times during your shift. New surroundings are invigorating. Remember that old adage: “A change is as good as a rest.” While that’s probably not exactly true, it does help beat monotony. Moving to a different desk or a new room also provides a little rejuvenating physical activity.

You Can’t Take It With You

Don’t make a habit of regularly bringing work home. You need a life outside your job, or burnout is unavoidable. Do things that you actively enjoy and are good for you. Exercise. Spend time with family and friends. Eat non-fast food in a relaxed atmosphere. Meditate. Write in a journal. Read for pleasure. Unplug electronics. You know what brings you pleasure, and it’s not working 24/7. In the long run, you’ll be a better and happier employee.

Get Away From It All

Short breaks are great, but every once in a while you need a vacation. Use your time off to break free. Don’t contact your work, and make it clear you’re unavailable. As long as you maintain this boundary, you don’t have to travel far. The primary goal is to change your environment from workplace to anywhere else. A “staycation” is as effective as a trip, as long as you’re resting, relaxing and having fun.

If you realize burnout is your likely destination, take detours. Then you’ll never have to arrive at that undesirable endpoint. When you start feeling stressed, overworked, underappreciated and exhausted, steer in another direction. You now have a roadmap, so stick to a route that doesn’t lead to misery.

 

Kayla Matthews is a productivity blogger and calendar-planning enthusiast. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter to read all of her latest posts, or check out her blog, Productivity Theory for more productivity tips.

How to Increase Your Productivity by Embracing Conscious Procrastination

Procrastination can be defined in many ways. Some procrastinators constantly change the dates of all their tasks, in the end not doing anything at all, while others put off working on small, negligible projects in order to concentrate on big stuff, achieving great results. The former is called unstructured or passive procrastinating – and as much as the passive procrastinators deny it, it’s basically laziness. The latter, however, is nothing of the sort. Referred to as active or conscious procrastination, it can lead to serious productivity boost if used in the right way. […] Continue Reading…

11 Top Tips for Time Management

Are you a morning or a night person? When you’re busy all the time, waking up early essentially adds an extra hour or two to your day. Although it can be difficult at first, waking up early can boost your time management skills, simply because you have more time to get things done. It is also reported that waking up early can leave you feeling more refreshed and energised for the day (providing you get enough sleep). […] Continue Reading…

6 Ways to Use the Cloud to Boost Your Productivity

Cloud Productivity, anyone? Years ago, the word “cloud” had an entirely different connotation. But now, in the business world and beyond, almost everyone is aware of cloud computing services. With the cloud becoming ever more popular, there’s a good chance it’s become a part of how you do business.

You may even have heard that the cloud can increase productivity for you or your business, but maybe you weren’t sure how. Here are six ways the cloud can help you boost your productivity and get more out of your workday. […] Continue Reading…

The Influence of Technological Advancements on Employees’ Productivity

The world of modern business is a cold and unforgiving place where the big fish eats the small one. Unfortunately, as a startup or a small business, you will most probably be at the bottom of the food chain. Still, this is the way it goes and this lack in size can be compensated for quite easily.

All you have to do is find some cost-effective ways to utilize your productivity and that of your employees. Your safest bet would naturally be to turn to technology for aid.

Here are some of the ways in which technological advancements can increase employee’ productivity. […] Continue Reading…

Moving from the City to the Country: 5 Big Changes You Will Have to Deal With

Moving from one site to another is a sane business strategy. These days many business owners and managers are taking the bold decision to move out of the crowded city centers into a more rural environment. This brave decision may well have been powered by the desire to work in country setting and will obviously have major implications when it comes to cutting costs.

This brave decision may well have been powered by the desire to work in country setting and will obviously have major implications when it comes to cutting costs. […] Continue Reading…

Why Your Home Office May Not Be as Secure as You Think It Is

Imagine if someone stole your computer. What would you lose? Your documents, your pictures, other things you could never replace, but you have likely also stored personal information on your computer, including passwords, financial information and more. […] Continue Reading…

6 Ways to Boost Your Productivity When Travelling for Business

Business travel is necessary, but it can become a major setback. We don’t always get to leave at the most opportune times, and that means we wind up having to shift our priorities to what we’ll be able to do at the moment. There’s no reason to agonize while you’re on the road. You can’t bring your office with you, but you can work remotely with what you have.

There’s no reason to agonize while you’re on the road. You can’t bring your office with you, but you can work remotely with what you have. […] Continue Reading…

Does Your Office Design Affect Your Productivity?

If you’re reexamining your current office space, you’ve probably got some ideas about how you want things to flow. You might have what you believe to be the perfect design plan all laid out, but in reality, you could be sacrificing functionality for looks. A lot of things you take for granted have a larger impact than you may expect, and that impact may be contrary to your intentions. […] Continue Reading…

6 Uber Hacks You Need to Know

Uber is a big part of many people’s lives. Hearing phrases like “let’s grab an Uber” or “should we Uber?” is now commonplace in our society. There’s good reason for this, as the shared ride phenomenon leaves public transit and taxis in the dust, at least in terms of convenience, reliability and cos […] Continue Reading…