How to Overcome Burnout in Work and Life

When I look back at my old self a year ago, I see a very critical and cynical person. I dragged myself to work every morning and dreaded getting started. By the end of the day, I was irritable and impatient and took it out on my family. I didn’t feel satisfied with my achievements and lacked the energy to be in the moment with my loved ones. In simple words, I was utterly disillusioned with my job and life.

Does the above seem familiar? If you find some of this resonates with you, then the daily demands of your job and life are wearing you out. You are suffering from ‘Burnout’ — a blend of physical, mental, and emotional fatigue adversely impacting your concentration, performance, and motivation.

What to do if burnout symptoms have already caught you?

Burnout is the manifestation of an underlying emotional cause. If the cause is addressed, the symptoms will disappear. As someone who has overcome burnout and embraced life with renewed vigor and enthusiasm, I can vouch that identifying specific changes in your routine and being consistent with the changes will help you overcome this state of listlessness.

Change Your Routine

You get up the same time every morning, read the same newspaper, shave with the same razor and cream, eat the same breakfast and go to work using the same route. At work, you perform the same tasks every day. Then you leave your desk at the same time every evening and return to the same home using the same route. How does that sound? Boring, right?

Life is dull if you do the same things, in the same way, every single day. Moreover, you will get the same results, making you feel unexcited and drained out.

Make a change. You don’t necessarily have to shake things up but instead, start with a small habit or pattern that enlivens your life. Like getting up an hour earlier and spending the time on physical exercise or listening to music. Or reading at night instead of watching that soap opera before going to bed. For all you know, one of these very habits may be contributing somewhat to your burnout.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Good physical health encompasses diet, hydration, energy levels, and sleep patterns. All four have to be in balance to have your body function in harmony. Identify which of these are you giving short shrift to for those extra hours at work.

Are you having a hearty breakfast and taking enough small meals during the day? Do you take plenty of water and juices to keep yourself hydrated? Make sure to get eight-nine hours of restful sleep daily-even if it means switching off the lights earlier than usual. And get your body moving. If you are not someone who can go for a half-hour jog daily, climb up and down the flight of stairs, walk down to the water cooler or simply stand up and down at your desk. Get your body moving.

All the above will positively impact your energy and productivity levels, which in turn will go a long way in alleviating your burnout.

Identify three priorities for the day

Scheduling does not correlate to productivity. Having a choc-a-bloc calendar and a long to-do list makes you feel fatigued and unaccomplished at the end of the day.

Trying to schedule your way to Time Management is a surefire invite to work-life imbalance. Don’t prioritize your schedule; instead, schedule your priorities. Identify the top three tasks during the month, week, day et al. that will leave you with a sense of achievement at the end of the day. Then focus your energies and efforts on those priorities. Everything else can wait; anything apart will be a bonus.

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