When you are busy and stressed at work, what are the first things in your daily life that you reduce or eliminate? Exercise? Healthy eating? Taking a break? Spending time with friends and family? If the stress of work builds and you consistently eliminate these things, these are signs of burnout at work! Burnout may be the consequence of mental exhaustion that follows prolonged stress. Failure to deal with burnout can have significant consequences at home and at work, including fatigue, insomnia, anger or irritability, substance abuse, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. It is therefore vital that we consider how to improve mental health at work.
How to deal with Burnout at work: 9 Simple Tricks
1. Do less
Many of us over-commit and end up under-delivering. If you are overwhelmed by your workload and try to do several things at once, the chances are that you will get less done.
Rather choose a select group of tasks to work on each day that you are guaranteed to complete. Cut back on meetings….are you attending meeting you really don’t need to be at?
2. Exercise can reduce the likelihood of burnout at work
Getting your blood flowing is one of the best ways to wake up in the morning. If you are not a gym person, go for a walk or run with the dog, add a few extra blocks to your commute, use the stairs. Once you are at work, keep yourself moving by taking regular breaks and/or go for a walk during your lunch break. If you can incorporate some exercise in your commute or morning routine, it will help you feel calmer and more focused during the day.
3. Ergonomic awareness
Look at your workstation setup. Sore backs, circulation problems and eye strain are but a few of the issues you can expect from a work area that has been set up incorrectly.
4. Keep your work area tidy
If you have a tendency to let clutter build up on your desk, take a few minutes to clean it up. Cluttered surroundings can make it difficult to focus on the task at hand.
5. Eat healthy foods and prevent burnout at work
One of the first signs of burnout is eating unhealthy fast foods.
Over and above the negative impact on your weight, feeding your body with unhealthy foods does not give it the essential energy it needs to work through stress.
6. Avoid distractions
One of the biggest distractions at work is social media and your cell phone. If you don’t need your cell phone to do your job, put it away and only check it at designated breaks. Avoid social media during work.
Try to avoid using….
7. Work on a single task
When you start to work on a new task, try to complete it. When we multi-task it can feel as though we are accomplishing much more, but in reality, many of us are not as good at multi-tasking as we’d like to believe. One of the signs of burnout at work is trying to “do everything”.
8. Prevent Burnout at Work – Take a break and have a laugh
No one can be “switched on” all the time. Allow yourself to take breaks during the workday to relax and re-focus on your goals for the day.
Laugh. When was the last time you really let yourself laugh at work?
9. Friends and family
Don’t neglect your friends and family. Take a break and spend time with them as it will help you to relax and de-stress. Work isn’t everything.
Preventing burnout at work is about addressing your quality of life and it is a building block on how to improve your overall mental health. Look out for the signs of burnout and stress at work, and deal with them now.