The Fight Against Burnout and What You Can Do About It
Our modern world can place extreme pressures on each of us to always be available and connected. As a result, we can face numerous challenges as we attempt to capture the perfect balance in our personal and professional lives. Although adequate rest is necessary for optimal health, sleep may be the first thing we decide to cut corners on when our lives place demands on us.
A lack of sleep combined with incapacitating stress can lead to a perfect storm. While stress may be prevalent in our lives, extreme pressure and insufficient rest can lead to the debilitating state of burnout.
There are ways to alleviate the detrimental effects of burnout, and it begins with paying attention to a few things. Here are four ways to fight back against burnout.
Get a sufficient amount of sleep each night.
Begin by getting an adequate amount of sleep each night. Some successful people will tell you that they can run on five hours a night. Others will try to suggest schedules such as checking emails until you go to bed and advising to be at the gym the next day by 5:00 AM.
It’s a dangerous concept to plant these suggestions and "guidelines." Being able to run on five hours is rarely the case for anyone. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and Sleep Research Society (SRS) developed a consensus recommendation for the amount of sleep adults ages 18-60 need. It concluded it was seven or more hours a night.
A lack of sleep may reduce attention span, impose risky decision-making, and cause a lack of energy. It can also bring mood changes, such as increased anger and anxiety, and even have long-term effects such as cardiovascular disease.
Focus on your long-term career goals.
Many of us want rapid career growth and a subsequent promotion as soon as we get one. While it’s perfectly okay to be hungry to learn and grow, consistently having an immediate gratification mindset can lead to unnecessary stress. This unrelenting pressure can also lead to feeling burned out.
Think of your career as a marathon, not a sprint. Talk to others in your organization who are in the role you would like to have and use it as a rough guideline. Managers and leaders in your industry can help give you an idea of what your desired career path may entail based on their experiences. For example, a senior leader may tell you it took them twenty years to advance to their current level, which can help you set realistic goals.
Learn to enjoy the process and the day-to-day skills you obtain every day. Small skills gained daily add up and are a vital part of your career growth.
Take your vacations.
A change of scenery is good for you. While many of us may find it hard to take time away from the office due to the overflowing demands of our jobs, we will most likely find that we will be more productive by taking time away.
It’s beneficial to separate yourself from what many of us refer to as the hamster wheel. Vacations can help you reset. When you return to your job, you are also more likely to have a different mindset. Putting your self-care first can also help you think of fresh ideas or aha moments that can make you more successful in the long run.
The success list over the to-do list.
Burnout can also come from trying to do too many things at once. Instead of building long-running to-do lists and feeling overloaded every day, focus instead on the things that matter most.
Business coach and author Gary Keller suggests a success list. It’s important to realize not all tasks on your list are equal. The success list helps to hone in on tasks that will deliver the most significant results.
Pareto’s Principle, which tells us that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results, can also put things into perspective. Focus your intention on the tasks to make you most successful verse running in circles trying to accomplish everything.
To conclude, be mindful of how you feel daily. Burnout and exhaustion aren’t things that happen overnight but slowly occur over time. Consistently check in with yourself to see how you feel. Be open to having conversations with your team or manager when the workload seems to affect your health or speak with a doctor if you feel you are at risk.
Tiffany Hoxie has been featured by Ellevate Network, Forbes, Medium, and Thought Catalog. As a full-time writer, she is passionate about educating women how to excel both professionally and personally.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Tiffany began her career as a childhood education teacher in a small town in Upstate, NY. In her late 20’s she pivoted her life’s path, landing a career in the Financial Services industry in New York City. Now, as a full- time writer, she has combined those professional skills to educate individuals to break down life’s barriers to achieve their goals and aspirations in life. Using small, sustainable changes, she provides the tools and wisdom... Continue Reading
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