Everyone experiences burnout in some form or fashion throughout their career. However, it’s a topic that people often don’t want to talk about. It’s scary — an organization can lose good people if they continue to burn out their employees. Burnout can lead to depression and unhealthy life habits, and being in a state of constant stress can lead to heart issues..yikes! Here are some steps you can take to overcome burnout:
1. Prioritize Your Work
Regroup your thoughts by writing down everything you are working on. Partner with your manager and prioritize what is most important.
2. Build Your Energy Level
Take charge of making time for healthy activities outside of your work. Get up earlier or take a mid-day break to engage in regular cardio or meditation. I make a big effort to go to the gym during lunch because it gives energy to my day and my work week.
3. Get Focused
Ask yourself, “Why am I in this industry? Why did I accept this job in the first place?” This will remind you of your initial purpose. Build relationships with individuals who are already where you see yourself — Ask them to mentor you!
4. Don’t Let Work Invade Your Home Life
My husband has asked that when we get home from work, our cell phones go in our catch all bowl at the front door. Implementing that one small thing has really helped us focus on our son and each other, even if only for a couple hours.
5. Reflect and Remember Your Priorities
I’m hoping to get better at this one — I’m always rushing off to the next thing. But what if at the end of the day we ask ourselves, “What did I do well today? What didn’t I do well today? What was one thing I learned today? And who is one person I need to thank?”
Let’s start practicing! The worksheet below will give you a good sense of your burnout level:
A score of 15–18 means the coast is clear — no burnout
A score of 19–32 means a little sign of burnout — reflect on whether some of your factors are particularly severe
A score of 22–49 means a risk of burnout — be careful
A score of 50–59 means a severe risk of burnout — do something urgently to prevent burnout
A score of 60–75 means a very severe risk of burnout — you have to do something about it!
Hopefully the small steps above can help you prevent, gauge, and manage burnout during really busy times. Remember, it’s okay to ask your peers for support!