Tips for Avoiding Burnout on the Job

January 28, 2014

A burned out employee is the workforce equivalent of the marathon runner who has gassed out—which is just what happens with burned out employees. Naturally, this could lead to huge productively problems within your business.

Symptoms of burnout tend to manifest as anxiousness, noticeable tiredness, inability to focus and a short temper. Obviously, none of these are conducive to a positive, strong work environment. To make sure you avoid becoming burned out, integrate the following six tips from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training:

1. Take Regular Breaks — Mental health is becoming increasingly important in the workplace, and more and more employers are recognizing the need for their employees to take frequent breaks to keep their minds sharp. By taking a 15-minute break in the morning, a 30-60 minute lunch break (that we recommend you take outside of the office) and an additional 15-minute break before the end of the day, you will find your batteries are constantly at a full charge.

2. Create A Unique Break Room — Conventional break rooms tend to be pretty plain: Coffee machine, water cooler, and the usual bland walls. Some companies have started to stray from this, however, and transformed break rooms into brief escapes from work, going so far as to set up televisions, game tables and video game systems in their break rooms. An environment that provides a brief escape for a reasonable amount of time will go a long way to prevent job burnout.

3. Set Aside “Me Time” Outside Of Work — While being a dedicated employee is admirable, being an indentured servant to your business will wear you down over time. When work is your life, your life is work, and burnout becomes inevitable. Know when to walk away from work. Schedule regular time away from work each week, preferably dedicated to a personal passion or hobby that clears your mind of any fog.

4. Be Wary Of Overworking — Many people find it difficult to say “no” in the workplace. This typically leads to the accumulation of more and more workload each time they agree to lend a hand here or there, or take on a side project or something similar. Being a team player is important in the business world, and helping your colleagues from time to time is a surefire way to further your career. But if you aren’t careful, other employees will take advantage of your generous, helping nature and all you’ll get is stressed-out from being overworked.

5. Balance Life And Work — Work cannot be the all-encompassing focus of your life—especially if you hope to maintain a happy home life. Whether you live independently, with a significant other, or a whole family, you need to manage your time between work and home effectively. When it’s time to punch out, punch out. Go to the local pub. Go home to your family. Go to the movies with your partner or friends. Give your personal life just as much time and attention as you do your work life. Otherwise, you will start to see problems and frustrations develop at home, affect your work life and cause you to feel burned out.

6. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle — The importance of a healthy lifestyle is among the top issues in our nation — and for good reason. This is because the benefits of diet, exercise, proper sleep and choosing water over carbonated cans full of nothing but chemicals drastically affect our behavior—both at home and at work. All it takes is setting aside 30-40 minutes just three days a week to exercise and make a greater effort to manage your diet. Doing so will benefit you directly in ways innumerable, and a positive lifestyle will lead to a more positive work experience.

Just because job burnout is common does not mean it’s anything to scoff at, or “just deal with.”  Preventative measures like the ones outlined above should be initiated to help minimize the threat of job burnout.


This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in PhiladelphiaWe’d love to connect with you on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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