It’s time for a major intervention: here we go.
Break the cycle of overwork and burnout and start taking better care of yourself with SSA Academy’s WSQ course on developing personal effectiveness.
Research shows that people who experience burnout aren’t too likely to attribute it to their jobs.
Time to face the facts: it’s work that’s causing you to burn out, and as with any psychological problem, the first and most important step is to come to terms with your burnout in the first place.
Ask yourself why you’re feeling burnt out.
Is it from being overworked or under-worked (feeling under-appreciated and under-stimulated at work), or is it from your own expectations that you’ve set for yourself?
How long have you been enduring it? How long more do you think you can can go on feeling so tired all the time?
What or who in particular is causing it?
Once you’ve figured out the roots of your burnout, reach out to the right people and ask for some support.
This can be particularly hard if you feel like you’re not the kind of person who needs help to do their job.
Remember: this isn’t about how competent you are. It’s about your mental, emotional and physical health. Asking for support on the job doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human.
If overwork or underwork is the problem, approach your supervisor or your team and share your concerns.
State your commitment to putting out excellent work and pushing yourself to outdo your past achievements, and that being over/underworked is starting to betray that commitment of yours.
Doing this could help to smoothen out the workflow so that it gets more balanced in the team, or to arrive at new understandings and solutions that could take the heat off of you.
If being perfectionist at work is causing to you burn out, it’s a sign that you probably need to reevaluate your goals to make them more realistic.
A relentless pursuit for perfection in everything you do might sound impressive and desirable, especially if you’re hoping to score a promotion at work.
But the reality is that it can also put you on the fast track to burnout. Not only will you tire yourself out more easily, you’ll also constantly engage in negative self-talk and be overly critical of yourself.
In other words, it can feel like nothing you do will ever be good enough.
It’s also worth looking at how your perfectionism is impacting those around you; having high standards for yourself often also means having high standards for those around you.
You might be unwittingly stressing those around you out and overburdening them too.
Letting go of perfectionism does not mean that you’ve reneged on your personal commitment to excellence.
It only means that you’ll still push yourself, but you will no longer engage in counter-productive, relentless self-criticism, rumination, or take your failures as an indication of your worth as a person.
One of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re feeling as depleted as you are in burnout is to start a regular mindfulness practice like meditation.
Think of it as an energy bar for the mind; quick and packed with nutrients.
When you start incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine, you’re giving yourself a solid source of stress-relief, sharpened mental focus, and increased resilience, all of which are powerful tools in recovering from burnout.
So much of the stress and pressure we feel on a daily basis tends to come from feeling overwhelmed. We burn out because we’ve spent too long feeling overwhelmed without feeling like we can do anything about it.
Mindfulness turns that around and puts the ball right back in your court. A simple 10-minute meditation in the morning and at night can do wonders in helping you to slow everything down, unplug, focus on the present, and take things one step a time.
Sometimes, burnout occurs because we’ve allowed our work to take up a bigger portion of our lives than what’s healthy.
There’s a time and place for everything; having a “no rest for the weary” mindset all the time is just as exhausting as it sounds.
When you’re in work mode all the time, you’re basically bringing all the stresses of work with you everywhere you go, whether you’re out for dinner with friends, spending time with family or loved ones, or even trying to sleep at night.
Taking care of yourself and striving for work-life balance is a crucial life skill for any working adult.
Outside of work, learn to turn off the work switch in your mind.
Find ways to engage and focus your mind and body in pursuits outside of work, whether that means picking up a hobby, attending arts performances, or trekking in a nature park depends largely on your preferences.
The point is, applying yourself to a pleasurable endeavour of your choice outside of your job keeps you aware that there is a world outside of the office and can help to release happiness hormones like dopamine in your brain.
And who doesn’t want to be happy?