Burnout is a word that’s only really entered our social vocabulary in the last decade. It’s something every employee (and employer) fears to their core. Wikipedia even categorizes burnout as a “syndrome,” saying that it can be “linked to long-term, unresolved, work-related stress.”
I think we can all agree. Burnout is the worst. What’s even more troubling is it doesn’t look like our fast-paced world has any plans of slowing down soon. So, how do we overcome burnout and recapture the initial spark that led us to our occupation? Here are a few tactical ways that we’ve found can help:
Learn how to delegate tasks
If you’re in a senior or management role, learning how to delegate tasks is a huge benefit. Learn to capitalize on team members who excel in areas where you struggle. And, let them know that you’re ready to receive work that they might not excel at, too. By doing this, you can free up space in your day to focus on the tasks you know you can efficiently accomplish. If you’re not in a leadership role — maybe you’re a freelancer — then task delegation might look like outsourcing. It might be tough at first to admit that you don’t have time to do something that you know you can accomplish, but sometimes having free time is more valuable than the dollars made by doing menial tasks that create stress (and burnout!)
Treat your days off as mandatory
When you’re out of the office, be out of the office! Weekends and vacations should be treated as sacred. These are times when our phones should be down, our away message on and our minds away from work. Creating strong boundaries between work and personal life is key to establishing healthy habits that keep burnout at bay. When we feel like work is everywhere and we can’t escape it, stress has more room to creep in and take root in our life. Don’t let that happen.
If it’s not a high-impact item, don’t spend too much time on it
Ever catch yourself spending hours on a task that doesn’t really affect your business’s bottom line? Learn how to recognize which tasks are high-impact and which ones aren’t is vital to shaving off time and adding more room for creative thinking. Sometimes done is better than perfect!
Stop doing things that don’t get you closer to your goal
Oftentimes, our days are filled with tasks and jobs we “just do” because we’ve always done them. We forget to stop and analyze all the little things we do throughout the day that might not be necessary at all. If you find yourself stressing about a weekly blog post that nobody reads, or a social media post that never gets much engagement, it might be time to reevaluate what you’re spending time on. It could be that you just need to modify what you’re doing — make it simpler and figure out what your customer or audience really wants, then replicate that over and over again.
Whatever kind of burnout you might be experiencing, we hope these tools proved helpful and got you a little closer to a less stressful day!