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Posts Tagged ‘burnout’

Lacking in fundraising ideas, especially when you have a lot on your plate is particularly common. But continued stress and anxiety can lead to burnout which makes coming up with fresh ideas on a regular basis problematic.

So, how can you tell you are at risk of burnout?

The smallest things can annoy you

Do you notice you have a short fuse? Is your nonprofit team rubbing you up the wrong way? Then you might well be on the way to suffering from burnout. There are annoyances, and there are annoyances, but if even the smallest of issues is causing a lot of frustration, it is time to take a step back. If not rectified, a serious argument over literally nothing will ensue. Go for a walk, take a nap or even schedule some leave before this little problem generates into a huge one.

You are tired all day every day

If you are feeling tired, all day, every day then you could be facings signs of burnout. Exhaustion is a symptom which can often accompany anxiety, and it can all add up to the fact that you need complete rest and a break from work. Take care of yourself, sleep well, eat healthily and exercise regularly. Caring for yourself or even asking for help will go a long way to aiding your recovery. If exhaustion continues, you may find that one day you can barely get out of bed at all.

Failure to concentrate on the task at hand

When you are overworked and overly emotional, it can negatively affect your concentration in the office. You may find you are more forgetful than usual or you just are unable to focus on the task in front of you. Make sure you take your lunch breaks and stand up and stretch every hour. Movement can help you clear your mind, especially when you have been sitting down for an extended period. Even a 20-minute walk can improve your ability to concentrate.

You are consistently putting in long hours

There are times when you may find that longer hours are necessary and that’s okay. But if you find you are continuously putting in the long hours, then you will soon find yourself overworked and very tired. While you may use up some of your time on the weekend to plan strategies or research donors, doing it often and on a regular basis can take a toll on your overall well-being. Take a break when you can and learn to say no more often. Working overtime will just make you feel more tired and have a negative effect on your productivity in the long-term.

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alone-62253_640While 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.

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