The World Health Organization has finally recognized burnout as a legit medical condition, thus distinguishing it from simply being tired or overworked.
Burnout is much more than being temporarily exhausted due to an increased workload or responsibilities – it’s characterized by overwhelming stress, emotional fatigue, lack of motivation, feelings of detachment and cynicism towards your job, and bordering on a general sense of depression and disillusionment.
People suffering from burnout can’t find joy and pleasure in their work anymore. To be more precise, they’re seriously considering quitting as a way out of this situation.
According to a recent Gallup study, 23% of full-time employees have reported feeling burned out at work very often or always, while 44% have said they feel burned out sometimes.
However, this modern-day epidemic can be prevented and kept at bay by saying yes to a helping hand.
Connect With Others
Building a workplace culture which encourages the spirit of community and puts emphasis on warm and friendly relationships with your colleagues and partners can be crucial in preventing burnout.
By connecting with others from your work environment and industry, it will be much easier for you to share your problems and other people’s ideas on how to solve them. Besides, by getting in touch with your colleagues and co-workers, you’ll also establish trust which is essential for delegating or outsourcing your tasks.
Organizing team building activities or attending industry events can do wonders for establishing meaningful relationships with people from your work community.
No matter what your line of work is, you can cut yourself some slack and find people capable of taking up a certain amount of your work and performing it up to standard.
Many freelancers and small business owners have trouble trusting others with their responsibilities and workload, which is only logical as they put a lot of effort into building their reputation and establishing quality.
But, if we bear in mind that carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders will ultimately take its toll on your productivity, quality of your work, and ultimately your motivation and health. It’s virtually impossible to stand the pace of the workload and maintain quality standards when you’re pushing yourself hard.
Expenses of hiring contractors are another obstacle that can prevent you from taking this idea into consideration. But, if you want your business to thrive, this could be one of the best investments that you can make.
This principle will save you from burning out and allow you to stay on top of your tasks.
We live in a culture of overachievers in which it’s expected to put in long hours and work until you drop, and this is something that you shouldn’t come to terms with if you want to stay sane.
But, it would be only fair to admit that sometimes the reason why we clock in more than our regular 8 hours is our inefficiency.
You should strive for a healthy work-life balance, and that means identifying what’s been making you less efficient.
According to research, the average employee spends about five hours a week on their cell phone doing things that have nothing to do with their job.
Apart from wasting time on social media, meetings are one of the worst productivity killers. Not only do they take up too much of your time, but they also leave you drained. So, make sure not to organize or attend meetings that can be emails.
It’s also hard to resist checking your inbox when you hear a new email notification. Instead of grabbing your phone to randomly check your emails, it’s much better to limit yourself to two times a day.
Finally, every business heavily relies on keeping the lines of communication with new and existing customers open. This means that phone calls have to be handled properly, and yet they can be a major interruption of your workflow. That’s why it’s a good idea to outsource your calls and focus on other aspects of your job that need your attention.
These simple productivity hacks will prevent you from getting distracted and will keep you from a vicious circle of wasting time and not using it on things that really matter.
Learn to Say No
This is one of the most powerful and important words in the English language.
It’s understandable that you’re afraid of being out of work, but that doesn’t mean that you should accept every meeting with a prospect that’s not a good fit for your business, or every job offered to you.
Such an unselective approach will only distract you from really important and potentially lucrative work.
Sometimes you’ll encounter clients that are quite a handful in the sense that they’re demanding to such an extent that they’ll end up being more of a nuisance than they’re worth.
So, instead of saying yes to every single offer you get, it’s essential to turn down those which don’t fit your business, require a lot of work that you’re not capable of putting in at the moment or are too stressful.
Sometimes it’s better to have less work than make a commitment to a client that you won’t benefit from in the long run.
Besides, being swamped with work isn’t always good for your business, as it might cost you a lot of energy without bringing an adequate ROI.
Set Your Priorities
And this doesn’t always have to mean putting your business first.
Unplugging and taking some time off work can be good both for your health, as well as for the business itself.
That’s why it’s important to have someone you can rely on and who will be able to keep things ticking over while you’re away.
Given that burnout can be extremely hard to recover from, slowing down for a will do significantly less damage to your business than running at the same speed all the time even though you’re noticing that you can’t handle it any longer.
In order to avoid burnout and stay in control of your business, you need to learn to let go and find some time for yourself.
But as this syndrome can be tricky and can easily creep up on you, it’s crucial to check in on yourself occasionally and see whether you need to refuel your energy levels and motivation.
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.