In the modern world where people are so easily contactable, it can feel like your work follows you home. Workplace burnout is a problem faced by many workers around the globe and can really take its toll if it gets out of control. Join us this week as we chat about workplace burnout and some strategies to avoid it:
What is Workplace Burnout?
Workplace burnout can have a different definition depending on who you are and how it affects you. At its core, however, it is a feeling of a loss of motivation to work on the back of sustained hard work. Host Andrew Baxter has been in finance for decades and knows how workplace burnout really can take hold. Really pushing yourself to the limit to achieve highly at work can push you to the limit, but sometimes the consequences can be dire. As an employee, it is important that you are mindful as to when you may start to feel burnt out and have some strategies to deal with it. Severe burnout can lead to months and even years of stress leave where you feel like you simply can not bring yourself to go to work – which will have negative impacts in one way or another.
When Does Burnout Appear?
Although burnout can happen at any time, certain periods can show signs of more than some others. Heading into the back end of a long year, we can all be a bit tired and ready for a break. Andrew notes that even some of his clients that he regularly speaks with are growing a bit weary in the last few months of 2022. To get the best results out of what you do and yourself, it is important to play to the final whistle to make every day count. It can be difficult to move on from hard situations where we may have been impacted but this compounded with some end of year tiredness before a well-earned holiday can give us a feeling of burnout. We all have our limits but it’s important to know what to do when we start to feel this way.
Keeping in mind just how severely your life can be affected by burnout, the key is to equip yourself with some ways to avoid it to begin with. Setting goals is one way to avoid severe burnout and may allow you to keep it in check. Host Andrew Baxter is a huge advocate of goal setting and points out that you can use goal setting to derive your purpose. Approaching each day and simply tackling what comes at you with no end targets is one way to surely find yourself in a rut, but if you can set some overarching goals, you may begin to find you are looking at your usual day-to-day tasks as stepping stones to getting there. For some who live their lives by setting goals, reaching them can often result in taking their foot off the pedal.
The purpose of setting a goal may not be only to achieve the goal, to become the type of person who is able to achieve it. As you achieve more and more highly, you will begin to see your goals growing. So take some time to consider how you set your goals and whether these are the types of goals that will keep you from burning out.
Maintenance – Taking Care of Yourself
Regardless of how well we’re doing at work, it can be easy to neglect our own wellbeing. Although you may feel motivated and effective in your job, you can simply become exhausted if you don’t take the time to look after yourself. Host Andrew Baxter suggests segmentation. Whether you are segmenting your day or your year, you need time to reset. Not everybody has the capacity to take lots of time off work for a holiday but doing so at some point is vital. If we break it down into segmenting your day there are a few ways you can do it. Firstly you might have a daily kickstarter, something you do first thing in the morning to start the day on your terms.
Next is your work day starter, which importantly should not be your personal daily kickstart. Wake up to your work inbox, and it may start to feel like you’re living according to the demands of your job. This can certainly cause burnout, so make sure you appropriately segment your day to start things on your terms. Even after you work, it’s important to have a work day shutdown to take you out of the stressed frame of mind work causes most people and give you a chance to enjoy your time away from the office or the job site or whatever it may be.
Surviving the Work Day
When it comes to work, planning and regularity is your friend. Setting aside distinct times for different styles of tasks is important so that you can really commit to whatever it is you need to do and focus on it until it’s done before moving on. It’s exhausting spending all of your time while doing one thing worrying about another. Andrew uses an egg timer to set time to focus deeply and then give himself some time at the end to relax. Controlling your day and how you spend your time will put you in the driver’s seat and certainly help you dodge burnout.