Stressed Out at Work? Reduce Risk of Job Burnout

There is nothing wrong with loving your job, but when you love it so much that it causes you to burnout and want to quit, then you’ve got a problem on your hands.

It’s common to go into a new job or career and be all gung ho and ready to take on the world. You don’t mind putting in the extra hours and doing the extra tough projects because you are so into it.

Over time though, the newness wears off and you still have the same tough projects and long days, but all of the sudden your love for what you do is gone and all you want to do is throw up your hands and walk away.

Whether this is where you are right now or you are reading this because you never ever want to get to this point, here are five things you can do that will keep you loving your job:

#1: Set limits with your time

young businesswoman sitting at desk and working

If you give a child a toy and tell them that they can only play with it five minutes a day, what happens? They will enjoy their limited time with the toy that much more because they know it will be taken away shortly, right?

However, if you give them no time limit, the toy will be played with for a short period of time and then be tossed to the bottom of the toy basket, never to be seen again.

The same phenomenon happens with you and work. It’s normal to put in extra time at work when you first start or when engaged in a new project, but you don’t mind it so much because it is new and exciting. But consistently working long, stressful days over a period of time will not only take you to the ledge of burnout, they’ll push you right over.

If possible, set limits as to how long your days or weeks will be. If you’re new, you will master your role eventually, so don’t get caught up in trying to do it one day or one week.

If you’re not new and still can’t seem to make your days shorter, either ask for help or work on time management. Maybe there are some things you can do that will make you more productive during the work day.

#2: Embrace change

Although the mere mention of change typically draws unpleasant responses like sighs and moans, change is absolutely necessary to keep life interesting.

If every day in your life is the same as the last, that is when burnout starts to flourish and grow. It is when boredom sets in and you find that you spend more of your time craving something fun and exciting than you do living the life you have.

If you’ve been at your job for quite some time, think of creative ways that you can spice up your work day. Maybe you could switch around the order in which you complete certain duties to make them feel different yet still accomplish your goals. Even changing your environment with new quotes on the wall or pictures on your desk can be enough to put a little more energy in your battery during the work day.

Think of things you can do to avoid becoming stagnant and bored, even if you aren’t to that stage in your career. Prevention is always better than cure and burnout is no exception to that rule.

#3: Be confident, but be realistic

Sometimes burnout strikes when we get overconfident in our abilities and bite off more than we can chew. We agree to do all of these wonderful things only to realize that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get them all done – leaving you working sun up to sun down just to try to survive.

It’s great to be confident in your abilities, but be sure that you are also being realistic at the same time. Always give yourself a little breathing room in case something happens that is beyond your control. That way, you can still complete the project on time without threatening your sanity to do it.

#4: Take a break

businesswoman on bench in park

Several studies have shown that engaging in any one task for too long reduces productivity and focus. So, if you aren’t taking regular breaks, you are actually decreasing your ability to get a lot done and be attentive to detail. Frankly, your work is going to suffer.

Get up every couple of hours and let your mind and body relax. The best part is that you don’t have to feel guilty about it now because you realize that walking away from your work every once in a while is a good thing!

It recharges your internal battery and helps you prepare for round number two… or three… or four.

#5: Let go of the notion of “Saving the world”

Whatever job you do is extremely important. Whether you are president of the company and responsible for every person below you or you have the lowest position on the totem pole, your duties are necessary for the company to be successful. However, if you feel like you are the lone fighter in the war of success and the only one who can save the world, you’re going to run yourself ragged just to survive.

You can’t save the world on your own and honestly no one expects you to. Besides, if you burn yourself out to the point where you can’t stomach one more day of work, who is that going to help?

Who can you save then? No one. Not you. Not your family. Not the company. No one.

Understand that while you certainly play an important part with what you do, you are not alone in this. You have a whole team of warriors with you (whether they are co-workers or colleagues) so, while saving the world is a noble thought, it is one best accomplished by a team effort.

Job burnout affects a large number of women each and every day. Don’t let it affect you. You deserve better than that.

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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