5 Ways To Prevent Job Burnout With Self-Management And Teamwork
Let’s address the elephant in the (conference) room: employee burnout.
With at least 70% of Singapore’s workforce clocking more overtime than before and another 60% reporting above average stress levels at work, job burnout is a definite cause for concern here.
When you’re constantly feeling mentally, physically and emotionally depleted, focusing on the job is a monumental task, resulting in slipshod work and jeopardising your chances of career advancement. Companies with burnt-out employees could also see higher turnover rates, reduced productivity, and negative work environments.
It’s high time to start treating job burnout seriously, so here are 5 ways to do just that.
Combatting job burnout requires cultivating your emotional intelligence: make it easier on yourself and take SSA Academy’s WSQ course on applying emotional competence to manage yourself and your team.
1. Communicate: Leverage support from your teammates
Burnout can be amplified by loneliness if you feel as though no one knows your struggle or understands that you just can’t cope with your workload. Simply having someone around to lend you support when you’re on the brink of a meltdown makes a huge difference.
- Ask for help.
Make it a team habit to be aware of each others’ workloads at any given time. If and when your workload gets too much, ask if someone else with a lighter workload could take over one of your tasks, but be sure to do this in advance, and return the favour in the future.
- Say no when you need to.
Avoid overburdening yourself unnecessarily by biting off more than you can chew. When you need to say no, explain why, apologise, and say you’ll take it on next time where possible.
2. Know yourself: Always keep yourself in check
Different people have different stress thresholds and perform differently under different conditions. Knowing this, one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your team is to know yourself.
- What’s your limit: how much can you take on without overextending yourself or sacrificing quality?
- Have you tried experimenting with personal productivity techniques to improve how you work?
- Where do your strengths and weaknesses lie?Knowing this helps you plan in advance if you need to set aside more time to complete a task that’s outside your area of expertise or if you need to ask for a task re-assignment within your team so that everyone gets tasks that suit each of their expertise areas.
- What’s the best way for you, personally, to de-stress? Do you do it enough?
3. Be mindful: Unplug when you need to
You simply can’t keep operating at 200% 7 days a week without re-charging yourself, and expect not to get burnt out sooner or later. When you need to unplug, you need to unplug: you’re not a machine, and even a machine has a set battery life.
Having a regular mindfulness practice can do wonders to alleviate your stress levels, rejuvenate and re-energise you for all of the daily challenges of working life.
- Meditate every day
Try meditating for 10 minutes at the start and end of each day to re-centre yourself and get your daily dosage of calmness to bulletproof yourself for the daily mad rush of peak-hour commuting, back-to-back meetings and urgent deadlines.
- Declutter your workspace (or your whole office)
A messy working environment can give the illusion that there are more things to be done than there really are. Take a leaf from Marie Kondo’s books or use the 5S techniques to declutter
4. Change your thinking: don’t be too hard on yourself
The less you believe in your ability to weather challenges at work, the faster you’ll burn out. Obsessing over your mistakes and failures sets you up for a lot of unproductive self-pity and is a lot more emotionally exhausting than intentionally focusing on the positive, as cheesy as it may sound.
- Manage your expectations
Every day is a rush. Expecting anything other than that is putting yourself on the fast track for emotional depletion, especially if you work in industries like news, social media, or tech.The key is training yourself constantly adapt, whether that means taking courses (like the ones at SSA Academy) or figuring out how you can achieve work-life harmony.
- Adopt a problem-solving mindset instead of a blaming one
At some point, focusing too much on everything that’s wrong and who’s to blame for it will only heighten your stress levels.Think logically and focus on how to solve the problems at hand, especially if it’s a recurring problem that consistently affects you and your work.
- Remind yourself of your achievements, not your failures
Stop short-changing yourself: remind yourself every day of your accomplishments, and use it as a way to reassure yourself of your ability to systematically overcome new challenges at work.
5. Stay in shape: keep your body at 100%
Healthy body, healthy mind. When you’ve got mountains of work piled on your desk, working out is probably one of your least concerns, but you NEED to make sure to slot it into your weekly routine somehow.
Countless research studies have shown that keeping your body in tip-top condition has drastic benefits for your mental and emotional well-being, including hedging against job burnout.
- Fit in a lunchtime gym session
- Go for a quick run twice or thrice a week after work
- Spend time amidst nature, ala the Japanese practice of forest bathing, or go rock-climbing or hiking
- Pick up a sport you like and do it regularly: swimming, pilates, futsal, whatever motivates you to stay in shape.
Don’t take any chances: eliminate burnout by learning how to take care of yours and your team’s emotional needs with SSA Academy’s WSQ course on applying emotional competence.