Top tips for avoiding burnout: how to have a happy and successful career
“Burnout” is a phrase we hear often. But what does it really mean?
Burnout can be defined as “A state of fatigue or frustration brought about by devotion to a cause, way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward.” – Herbert J. Freudenberger.
To experience burnout, one has to have been “alight” in the first place. Burnout is more likely to occur to those who once had an optimistic approach towards their career.
Some of the warning signs for burnout include: constant negative attitudes towards work, experiencing low energy at work, trouble sleeping and physical complaints such as headaches, illness or back ache.
Now that we know what burnout is and how it is caused, lets look at how we can prevent burnout.
Burnout cat be caused from lack of autonomy. The less control you feel you have over your work, the more likely you are to experience burnout. Other causes can include having unclear goals or job expectations, being part of a dysfunctional team, excessive workload, lacking recognition of good work and having low stimulation work.
- Work with purpose
Consider the purpose of your work, rather than earning a pay check. This can be an essential tool for avoiding burnout. Look at the impact of what you do every day. How does your work help towards the functioning of the world. How does your working day make the world a better place?
2. Perform a job analysis
When you experience work overload each day, you can start to feel as though you are on a merry-go-round that never stops. More often than not, this leads to burnout. By performing a job analysis, you can gain a realistic grasp on what is expected of you and what is important within your role. This can then help you delegate which tasks are not as essential. After this, you can discuss your day-to-day tasks with your manager and have a clearer vision of what your working day should look like.
3. Take control
Previously we looked at lack of autonomy and its relation to burnout. By taking control of your role, you take back that sense of autonomy. You can try talking with your manager or boss to see if they are willing to let you have more control over your tasks, projects or deadlines.
4. Learn how to manage stress
When unmanaged, short-term stress can contribute towards burnout which is exactly why you should learn how to manage smaller scales of stress before it develops further.
There are several stress reducing strategies. For example, you could keep a stress diary to document common causes of stress, allowing you to identify what causes you stress and why. Practicing deep breathing, meditation and other relaxation techniques can also help you calm down when experiencing stress.
5. Establish boundaries
We all hear the term “work-life balance” but what does this mean? More specifically, how can this help prevent burnout? By establishing boundaries, you can choose when its time to “switch off” from work. For example, if you finish work at 5pm, maybe allow yourself some time to process and talk about your day and then set a cut off time to fully enjoy the rest of your evening. By doing this, you can allocate your energy between your work life and your home life.
We hope this blog has helped you identify some key top tips for avoiding burnout.