Have you ever heard someone say I will burnout? That sounded off, right? Although, it follows the rules of grammar, like in “I will workout.” The latter sounded fine, the former didn’t. Why is that? It is because we rarely, if at all, anticipate burnout. Once we realized it, we are in deep already. It’s like getting on a plane half asleep and waking up halfway to the destination. Too late to go back. So, let’s talk about preventive measures. Read on to find out more about the 5 easy steps to prevent burnout.
Burnout and You
Someone from the team was happily sharing how he and his family went out over the weekend. They went hiking, swimming, just being one with nature. He observed how this helped him come back to work more energized and with more gusto. Further, he shared that it was only then did he realize that he is already experiencing burnout.
Have you experienced something similar?
The term “burnout” is a relatively new term. First coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger, in his book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement. He originally defined burnout as, “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”
Burnout is a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feelings of reduced professional ability.
More simply put, if you feel exhausted, start to hate your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, you are showing signs of burnout.By Elizabeth Scott, PhD for VeryWellMind
Combine your Calendars
You have at least 2 calendars. One for work and one for your personal life, whether you document it or not. Some, like myself, have 3 calendars – personal, work and coaching. Others may have more. And that is alright, as long as you can balance your different life areas. However, without a consolidated view, it’s easy for one to take over your other roles in life.
Analyze your Days, Weeks and Months
Then, take a good look at where or how your time is spent. Do you have enough time for those that really matter for you? Your family, your friends and loved ones and your passions and hobbies. How many months would go by without reconnecting with your parents or friends? How long before you can sit down to do what you really love? How much of your day is spent working and how much of it for taking care of yourself and the people around you? If you are having a hard time responding to these questions, then, let this be a wake-up call to prevent burnout.
Include Time for Wellness
If you are like many people who are yet to find the balance , then this is the first thing for you to do – include time for wellness. What do I mean when I say include time for wellness? I mean it in its holistic sense – the time to exercise, the time to eat (at the right time of day), time for family and loves ones, time to do what nourishes your soul, your hobbies, and not to forget, the time to sleep. You have to plot these, whether documented on an actual calendar, diary or planner, or in your mental notes. Because if you don’t, these will take a backseat and will stay there until it’s too late.
Leave Room for Sudden Matters
Apart from including time for wellness as outlined above, it is important to leave spaces. Why? Because no matter how good we are at planning, there are still surprises that might arise – positive and pleasant ones, I hope. Trust me, something or someone will occupy this space and it’s up to you how to respond. Which brings us to the next and last point.
Select Your Activities
Select from your roster of activities. Which ones are truly strategic? Which ones are aligned with your values and principles? Which ones will bring you closer to your goals, whether it be short term or long term? When it comes to goals, it is important to think in professional as well as personal terms. These activities, you have to absolutely do. For some other activities, you can say no to, e.g., those that are not strategic, not aligned to your values and principles and will not bring you closer to your goals. However, helping others is basic human responsibility; remember that being strategic does not mean being selfish nor keeping yourself in a silo.
Don’t wait till you experience the symptoms of burnout. Do something and take action now! I hope these tips would help you.