While many run their lives under the “work hard, play hard” banner, we all should be aware of the early signs of burnout. Working long hours with great enthusiasm can be a road to great success, but if you burn the candle at both ends for too long you might need some tools to manage the negative results.
Though everyone’s thresholds for burnout are different, the Sydney Morning Herald reported research on the matter lay blame at the feet of three key experiences – ‘exhaustion, cynicism and inefficiency’.
So it stands to reason if we can beat these three, the sky is the limit! Consider the following tips.
Include exercise – Even a brief walk at lunch time, rather than remaining sedentary for too much of the day can make the world of difference. Is there a park nearby where you could eat lunch? Can you walk or ride a bike to work once a week, or more? A change of scenery can lead to greater productivity later. For some, an exercise class between work and home is perfect for maximum efficiency.
Make personal calls – Make sure, no matter how devoted and into your job you are, that you have some non-work time, with friends or family, where something unrelated to work crosses your radar. No-one can be ‘on’ 100% of the time, so avoid burnout by staying connected to the world at large.
Let go a little and delegate – Recognise that you can not control everything, and work to remove minor headaches before they can affect operations. For instance, consider hiring someone to do the monotonous, time consuming tasks that slow you down.
Get tech-free downtime – The beauty and great problem of computer based work is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. Make sure there are times in your day, everyday, when your devices stay off.
Foster supportive relationships – Keep the humanity about your work by befriending colleagues close to you. Remember you are never in it alone, and having their perspective will help in the tough times, and make the good times that much more enjoyable.
Work hard, play hard is okay some of the time but if you want to go the distance with any great success, you need to ensure you keep it balanced.