SIGNS OF WORK BURNOUT
Sometimes, you need to learn to take a step back from your busy life and look after yourself.
Chronic work-related stress causes a lifestyle that's not sustainable. You may reach a point of physical and mental exhaustion. Learn to recognise the signs of burnout before it brings you down.
NOT BEING ABLE TO SWITCH OFF
No matter how hard you try, you can't get your mind off work. Whether it be adding a to-do list in your head, worrying about a meeting or merely dreading having to go to work tomorrow. You may have trouble relaxing, especially when carrying out leisure activities.
If you're not able to switch off after work, you may have many thoughts running through your head during bedtime. You may have trouble falling asleep at night, or have difficulty getting back to sleep if you wake during the night.
The combination of inadequate sleep and poor sleep quality will result in exhaustion throughout the day.
DECLINE IN HEALTH
Your body has a way of telling you when enough is enough. Work burnout can be physical, mental or a combination of the two.
Symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches and digestive issues may be experienced. Changes in appetite can also be a sign. Likewise, bad habits such as drinking too much, smoking and excessive sedentary behaviour can also be signs of burnout.
Having trouble focussing may indicate work burnout. You may take longer to complete a task than you did previously, and you may be more easily distracted and spend a lot of time procrastinating.
Sure, the average person isn't completely focussed a hundred percent of the time. If you find the struggle to focus is becoming more frequent and for extended periods, this may be a sign to step back and take control of your health.
SLIPPING JOB PERFORMANCE
A slump in performance is an indicator of burnout. This usually goes unnoticed as a drop in performance can happen over the long-term period. With disinterest comes motivation issues which, in turn, leads to putting less effort into work.
You may also be dreading going to work. This lack of excitement for your work may lead to a decrease in your work performance.
HOW TO COMBAT WORK BURNOUT
When there are too many things on your to-do list, it's easy to forget to eat. Always choose to refuel your mind over skipping a meal. If you're too busy to cook and don't have time to go out for food, cook extra portions to eat as leftovers.
One excellent and healthy way to take a break is to do some exercise. Go out for a lunchtime walk to increase productivity. Consider incorporating ways to increase physical activity during work time.
TAKE A BREAK
It's understandable - when you're swamped with work, the last thing that seems worthwhile is taking a break.
Remember to treat yourself every once in a while. To celebrate the end of a project or milestone, take a vacation. Choose a tropical vacation at a luxury resort or a weekend away in a local bed and breakfast. It’s important to take time to relax on. Give your mind a chance to reset and relax before the next big project.
SET YOUR WORK TIMES
Make a habit of keeping your work at work. Taking work home is never a good idea. You'll likely be preoccupied at home. Your diminished efficiency will result in more time required to complete tasks.
If you work from home, it can be harder to separate a workspace from your living space. Keep your work at your desk and learn to put your work down after hours, so you do not spend your leisure time working. Don't let your work consume you.
If possible, set your work hours to the time you are most productive. Not all workers have this luxury, but consider it if it applies to you. Night owls may prefer to start work later, whereas others may prefer to finish work in the early afternoon.
FIND WAYS TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
Create a work environment that encourages focus and productivity. Remove any distractions. If you spend prolonged hours in front of a computer, spend your breaks away from a screen. This can help to prevent eye strain and fatigue, which are both common symptoms of long-term computer usage.
Batch tasking is a way to increase productivity. Batch like tasks together, and once you get into the swing of each task, you'll become more efficient. Avoid multi-tasking at all costs. While it seems like a great idea to get two things done at once, you'll waste time shifting between tasks, resulting in decreased efficiency.
WRAPPING IT UP
If you find yourself exhibiting signs of burnout, take measures to bounce back. Look after both your physical and mental health, and make small changes to your work schedule. Above all, your health is vital for effective and efficient performance at work and in your personal life.
Author’s bio: Born and raised in sunny Gisborne, New Zealand, Maia Fletcher loves waking up to the beautiful sunrise from her window. She is also an avid reader and enjoys discussing a diverse range of topics through her blog and collaborations with a local home and design site.
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