Does your life feel unbalanced? Are you tired or exhausted most of the time? Do you feel like work consumes you? You may be experiencing job burnout.
Taking care of a family, climbing the career ladder, or working for that new house or car can lead you to devote excessive hours to your job. You could even get so used to this routine that you become addicted to the stress that comes with an imbalanced life.
The good news is that there are many strategies you can apply to prevent job burnout:
1. Make every effort to stick to the number of hours you're required to work.
One of the first clues you're gravitating toward over-work is noticing that you're working more hours than necessary.
For example, if you're hired to work 40 hours weekly and you notice you're actually working 44 or 45 hours, recognize that continuing to work at that level will eventually catch up with you.
Working extra hours from time to time may benefit your career advancement or your pocketbook. But the long-term effects of chronic overwork may leave you inefficient in the very job you're seeking to excel in.
2. Utilize tools at work to help you do your job more efficiently.
Take the time to learn how to operate the timesaving "tools" found in your workplace.
For example, perhaps you're responsible for copying and putting together a multiple-page employee manual and you still don't know how to use the fancy copy machine that copies, collates, and staples documents. In this case, spending the time necessary to learn to operate the copier might shorten many of your tasks, making them quicker and easier.
If possible, assign some of your tasks to others whenever you can. One of the signs of burnout is the belief that no one can do the job or a task as well as you can.
Whether or not your belief about others is true, you don't have to act on it. When you do, the result is that you do more and more of the work.
When you delegate, you also give others the opportunity to grow and develop. If you're in a position to delegate, fostering this growth may even be part of your job!
4. Take breaks.
It's important to divert your mind a few times each day from your work projects.
Take a coffee break and chat with your co-workers about the television show you watched last night.
Call your partner to plan an entertaining activity for later on today or the upcoming weekend.
Whatever you do during your break, get out of your usual environment. If you normally stare at a computer screen, go outside, or gaze out a window. If you're running around as part of your job, take a relaxing break. Sit down somewhere or take a nap if you can.
5. Make it a habit to take all time off to which you're entitled.
Taking the time off that you're allotted will help you prevent sick days from job burnout.
During those vacations and personal days, recharge your batteries by engaging in activities that are totally unrelated to your work.
As much as possible, unplug your work completely during this time.
6. Stay in touch with your feelings related to your work.
Acknowledge your feelings; they're all valid and worth evaluating. Plus, your feelings can be the first clue that you're headed toward job burnout.
Are you getting tired of working all the time? Are you totally excited and interested in your job? Or is it becoming a humdrum or even a hassle?
If you discover you're feeling negative about your work, take steps to resolve the challenges that are causing you to feel this way. It's important that your work provides a positive force in your life rather than zapping all your energy.
Having a healthy work-life balance is important. Practice the above strategies to avoid developing job burnout. Discover the liberating beauty of living a restorative, balanced life.