When the days and weeks all blend into one and you can't seem to remember where you took your last vacation, you know you're getting burned out by work. I know I'm not alone on this one, but at times I find myself fantasizing about a 30-hour day or an 8-day week just so I can have time for everything in my life. As much as you can fight through smaller daily stress spikes, those all contribute to the overall burnout that can happen when we work beyond capacity for too long. Dr. Todd Dewett, author of the book Leadership Redefined lists the following as symptoms of work burnout: Your professional relationships don't matter anymore; the quality of your work isn't what it used to be; you're no longer goal-oriented. Read his tips on fighting it and discover how I combat my own burnout when you read more.
Dr. Dewett claims that a good first step is sharing your feelings about your present state with those close to you, because that means you're more likely to do something about it. Personally, I'm not sure that would help me very much since the people closest to me already know when I'm burned out simply by virtue of knowing me well. Regardless, here are his other tips.
- Spice up your routine. "Figure out what new responsibility you are capable and willing to assume and ask that it be given to you."
- Rediscover your motivation. Set specific goals with deadlines. "Make the goals at least modestly challenging, and feel free to share them with others to increase your commitment."
- Have a plan. Create a list of skills you need to obtain, people you need to network with, financial items to take care of, and overall steps you need to take to get into a job or business that you are passionate about.
I like to plan long weekends in advance so that I have something to look forward to that isn't work-related. Getting away from home is crucial because if I'm there I'll succumb to doing work. Sporadic long weekends are a good solution because they can be inexpensive and are usually enough to make me feel like I've gotten away from it all. What are your burnout fighting tips?