4 Ways To Avoid Workplace Burnout And Keep Your Sanity

HR and L&D

4 Ways To Avoid Workplace Burnout And Keep Your Sanity

When feelings of burnout start to occur, many people focus on short-term solutions such as taking a vacation. While this can certainly help, the relief is often only temporary. You also need to focus on strategies that will have a deeper impact, and create lasting change.

What is burnout?

In his 2014 book, “The Burnout Solution,” work psychologist Michael Erlbaum explained how burnout is the “pervasive emotional experience of slogging through the rest of one’s life with a sense of loss and exhaustion.” When that happens, Erlbaum said, “you really feel like you’ve reached a dead-end, that there’s nothing left for you.” When you’re feeling burned out, you may have difficulty focusing on your work, and be more irritable, impatient and depressed. You also may have an inability to make decisions, a diminished interest in activities that used to be pleasurable, or you have a sense of dread when thinking about the future. A person who’s burned out may experience these feelings on a daily basis or at various times of the day or night.

4 ways to avoid workplace burnout

Practice mindfulness. The act of simply being present in the moment can create changes that last a lifetime. Work from home one day per week. Research shows that working from home offers increased productivity and decreases stress. However, people may feel less motivated to work if they have no work responsibilities waiting for them. One day per week may not be enough to avoid burnout, but it can increase your personal productivity. Meditate or get outside. When you are outside and surrounded by nature, your stress hormones drop and you feel more connected to others. Even taking five minutes to sit in a park and breathe can reduce your cortisol level, making you less stressed and more relaxed. Choose managers that make work more manageable.

Take care of yourself

As human beings, we need to take care of ourselves. The idea of your health suffering when you’re already under stress isn’t acceptable. But the truth is, you’ll be far less likely to do that if you’re constantly overworked. Set up time at least once a week to eat healthy and to exercise regularly. Look for moments to relax and recoup, whether it’s meditating in the evening or going to the movies. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel when you’re physically and mentally tired. Keep your commitments When you get into a pattern where you don’t have a sense of urgency about the commitments you make, you become vulnerable to not completing them. While you don’t want to make promises you can’t keep, you do need to be more selective about the tasks you commit to.

Focus on what you can control

It’s easy to tell yourself what you can’t do, but ask yourself: What actions can I take right now to improve my situation? For instance, if your to-do list has so much on it that you can barely focus on what you have to do, you can focus on one or two things and work on them one at a time. This will help to keep you motivated and on track without putting the whole lot on your plate at once. Use your energy strategically Take stock of where you are spending your time and energy. Do you spend too much time in meetings or in one-on-one conversations? Are you paying enough attention to your children and household tasks? Are you simply doing too many things at once, which is exhausting and stressful? Use time to find more energy Find some time each day to go for a short walk.

Give yourself permission

Burnout is a natural byproduct of what many people call the rat race. We live in a fast-paced world where there is so much to do and no time to slow down. It is imperative that you give yourself permission to be comfortable with your limits. This includes setting limits for how much you are willing to push yourself, and how long you are willing to suffer in silence. Avoid the latter by making small changes today. Instead of rushing to finish a project that isn’t on your personal priority list, take one more hour to get it done before moving on. When you are feeling pressured by a deadline, take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee before diving back in. Giving yourself permission will allow you to stay engaged and avoid burnout.


It’s easy to fall into a routine of working long hours and overloading your schedule with commitments. Burnout is not an inevitable part of life, but it is a serious and sometimes catastrophic consequence. If you experience work-related burnout, don’t feel like you’re the only one. Take the steps outlined in this article to improve your situation and develop a healthy working routine. “> Burnout is a situation in which an individual has reached the point where their work becomes more demanding than they can possibly handle.

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