6 ways you can avoid burnout at work and maintain balance in your life
burnout has become a societal norm. and most of us have normalized “going all in” for our jobs, finding it hard to exist outside the confines of a job title. we say yes to everything because we are fueled by this constant desire of having to earn our keep and prove we’re capable of doing amazing work.
we take on project after project, assignment after assignment, falling deeper and deeper into the trap of being a chronic overachiever until one day, boom. it gets real. you crack under the pressure you’ve self-inflicted on yourself. you lash out unexpectedly on someone. or worse, your body begins to shut down because you haven’t been taking care of yourself.
it ain’t gotta be this way, though. the emotional fatigue. the decline in health. the anger. the depression. the detachment from life. it’s time we do better. it’s imperative you put yourself first.
here are some ways i’ve found to be impactful in combating burnout in your life.
6). stop sweating the small stuff.
it’s a simple concept, but it’s difficult to grasp. learn to stop sweating the small stuff and let things go. stress in general affects your health as well as your lifespan. ain’t nobody got time to be stressing over a job for a company that would keep moving perfectly fine if you died tomorrow (harsh reality, i know.) stress and peace cannot coexist. you’re either gonna have one or the other. and trust me, no good can come from stressing out on the job. chill out and keep calm before you drive yourself crazy.
5). find a hobby outside of work.
the hobby should be something you want to do, not something you have to do. otherwise, it’s not a hobby it’s a chore. find something you like doing just because, preferably something reoccurring like a spin class, painting class, or karate. it’s a great way to meet new people and give yourself purpose outside of your 9-5. definitely time well spent.
4). work on side projects that drive your passions.
i’ll get straight to the point with this one. don’t you dare sit here and spend majority of your day building up and contributing to someone else’s dream that you get home too tired to spend time on the things that keep you going. period.
despite what you may think, passion projects are a necessity. don’t think you have one? sure, you do. it’s that idea you’ve had in your mind for the past year or so that you’ve yet to pursue because it seems impractical. or unlikely. it’s the project that excites you at the very thought and propels you to wanna be great.
these types of assignments are critical to your development professionally, personally, and creatively. and if you have a passion project that you’ve since put down due to work, make the time and pick it back up. if you have yet to start one, do so today and watch how your priorities begin to change.
3). set aside free time for yourself.
self-care is critical to peace of mind and the reduction of anxiety in your life. issa fact. but here’s the thing – most of us have an inaccurate understanding of what self-care is. so, lemme help you real quick. self-care is any activity you deliberately do in order to look after your mental, emotional, and physical health.
the reason i say that most of us have a misunderstanding of the concept is because we tend to only focus on one of the three and think we’ve checked the “self-care” box when in reality, we have not. self-care is more than manicures and pedicures (physical health). it’s also things like getting enough sleep (mental health), doing meditation or yoga (mental health), spending time with loved ones (emotional health), opportunities to laugh (mental and emotional health), and maintaining a healthy diet (physical health). it’s all about balance. and if you’re finding yourself feeling overworked and unmotivated and stressed the heck out, you’re living in the imbalance.
2). work with purpose.
if you aspire to be more of an effective and efficient worker, you have to understand that time management is in fact, your friend. and no, you don’t have to schedule your work day down to the very second if that's not your thing. however, you do need to have some sort of structure in place – something that will allow you to work with purpose on the job. for most people, this starts with categorizing what absolutely needs to be done at work and what you’d like to be done at work.
read that part again and make sure you got it because it’s important to understand that what you want to be done at work and what needs to be done at work aren’t always synonymous with one another. don’t let your ambition blind you to the extent that you try to be a jack of all trades and end up being a master of none. it may work for a short time but trust me, there’s no longevity in operating like that.
you cannot do everything. so, make yourself a to-do list and categorize it in order of importance and stop taking your work home with you. home is for peace. and if you do it right, you will heighten your likelihood of delivering quality work on time with less anxiety. forreal.
1). stop counting down the days until friday.
listen, life is a beautiful thing worth living. and your life wasn’t meant to be on cruise control monday through thursday with you pulling over for a rest on the weekend. you’re worth more than that, real talk.
at the beginning and end of the day, every day of your life has something beautiful to offer you. and if you keep that at the forefront of your mind, you’ll move different. your decisions will be different. what you allow will be different. you will be different.
you’ll find that there’s purpose behind your existence. and that your purpose is not as much about what you do for a living as it is about what you do with your life. so, make the most of where you are right now, and don’t worry about things that are beyond your control.