I’ve gone through a couple of titles in my career to get to the point where I am. It was a blessing to start working professionally at an early age, but I’ve also faced some horrible relationships and challenges in the work force. I’m 26 which may still be a young age, but I’ve taken away major life lessons that helped me survive the tough times throughout my career.
One thing I’ve always struggled with is having a burnout, whether that be physical, mental, or both. I burn out when I’m so overwhelmed and I’m sure you have it every now and then as well. If not yet, it’ll come sometime throughout your career, and it can be extremely detrimental. With all my experiences combined together, I want to share 10 tips on ways to avoid a burnout with your job.
- Why did you want to do this in the first place?
Just think about why you started. I don’t wake up each morning thinking, “I AM SO EXCITED TO WORK TODAY” but I generally enjoy the work I do. I love social media, photography, communicating with different people in all the departments and positions, etc. If you truly hate your job, then the job may not be the right fit. Work won’t always be amazing, but every day should not be a struggle full of complaints.
- Do not dwell on things out of your control
Personality is unfortunately something that cannot change. I’ve had a long period where I dealt with serious personality issues in the workforce and it really caused a burnout. The only solution I found was that, there is really nothing I can do or change. The more I stressed over a problem that was beyond my control, it only hurt me in the long run and nobody else. Culture, personalities, and perspectives are some key factors that play such a huge role in developing relationships, yet something that most likely will not change.
- Prioritize Yourself
For most jobs, you have 8 hours in a work day so use the time wisely. My workflow consists of: writing down a list prioritizing the work that must be finished by EOD, work I can get started on but are not urgent, and some things that can wait. I also allocate time for spontaneous tasks I get thrown on. I’m good at juggling my work but it wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t prioritize!
- It’s okay to unplug from work
I’ve finally let go of this workaholic mindset starting my current job about a year and half ago. To unplug from work was simply impossible; constantly checking my emails, looking at every single push notification, and actively monitoring social media to not miss out on what’s new and trending in the area. Although I am now in a slightly different field which doesn’t require that as much, we still are even surrounded by technology more than we have ever been. It’s extremely important to make that extra effort to remove yourself from work and have real relationships and conversations outside of work.
- Accept the failure, learn and grow from it
No one is perfect, even the person telling you that you are not perfect. How you deal with “failure” is all about perspective- whether you accept it or let it step all over you. When I was a news reporter, I couldn’t handle the criticisms that I received over my work. I couldn’t accept it, whereas it seemed easy for everyone else to move on. When I learned to completely change my mindset by accepting my flaws and sought ways to improve myself, I did much better at my job and became stronger mentally.
- Good posture, power pose
Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk is about how good posture and “power posing” can boost feelings of confidence and might have an impact on our chances for success. “Power posing” is standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident. We are influenced by others’ body language all the time, and it may also change how we view ourselves. If you haven’t heard this talk yet, I strongly encourage you to go listen to it. You might start evaluating everyone’s postures around you!
- Change the office culture
Some straight up ignore others and are in a cranky mood in the mornings, others close their doors when they need to focus with work and maybe some fill up the workplace with laughter and are super social with everyone in the building. If you have a positive office culture, GREAT. Consider it a blessing. If not, try to be that person who says the “good morning” with a smile first and brightens up the atmosphere a little bit. Try being that person who goes up to the closed door and starts a conversation, or make an extra cup of coffee for your coworker! The key takeaway is to not let a negative environment ruin you because it will reflect on your work.
- Sleep = non-negotiable
Everyone needs sleep. It’s a fact that we need sleep so our brain and bodies can function better. I, especially, need lots of sleep. However, this becomes difficult if I make dinner plans every single night after work. I’m asking for a burnout, pretty much. Make an extra effort to limit dinner or happy hour plans and try to sleep early to recharge.
- Walk it out
I make a cup of coffee when I’ve stared at a screen for too long. Or I walk to the furthest bathroom just to walk it out. There’s something about being away from the desk and coming back with a fresh eye. If you’re at a desk the entire day, it’s extremely important to walk around and take a break!
When work gets frustrating or overwhelming, take a second to just close your eyes and breathe. Go to the restroom or if that’s weird, just do it at your desk. I use the meditation app Headspace which I’ve talked about before in this post (only takes 3 minutes) to take a breather when I have to and it makes all the difference for me.
These 10 things are some things I remind myself daily to avoid a burnout with my job. I struggle with some of these too, but it’s all a learning process. Hoping this helps anyone who feels overwhelmed lately! As always, thank you for reading!