Most people don’t like to admit it, but every once in a while we get burnt out. It’s only natural after long periods of being busy with work and fun. A burnout can manifest itself as lack of focus, desire for naps, inability to work for extended periods of time, irritability, and more.
Sometimes it’s in your best long-term interest to take a break from work. Yes, time is money, and it’s always tempting to try and be a hero and get stuff done as soon as possible but working more can actually be detrimental to your productivity in the long-term. It sounds cool and tough to say you’ve been working non-stop for days on end, but the reality is, it’s probably not the smartest way to work.
Sometimes working less will help you accomplish more. Take a break every once in awhile to re-fuel. Your body and mind NEED that break so you can be function at your very best.
Below are five antidotes for a burnout.
Spending quality time with friends and family is always fun and important. For many people it provides energy. It allows you to take your mind of the stresses of work and on to fun and relaxing issues. Friends and family can also provide motivation and support to get back to working hard again. Sometimes a little encouragement will help us get out of a slump. Being social and having fun can be a great source of energy.
Sometimes a change in physical location is what we need to change our head-space. If you’re in an urban environment, things can be quite chaotic and may be overwhelming for some people after a while. Getting some fresh air in a rural or suburban area every once in a while is very relaxing and can change your frame of mind from the routine.
In the age of always-on mobile devices, it’s hard to ever really clear your mind from work. A “digital detox” means zero cellphone or computer usage for at least twenty four hours. You must turn them off and completely check out from work and emails. I was surprised by how strange, yet great this feels. It enables you to truly take a break from work. At the end of the digital detox you’ll be eager to check those email and get back to work.
If you’ve been spending a lot of time working, it may be in exchange for sleep time. Lack of sleep can cause burnout. Try giving yourself a day or two to sleep as much as your body asks for. Adjust your schedule so that you can get some sleep, even if it means postponing obligations. Lack of sleep causes lack of focus and you certainely don’t want to be over-fatigued at an important meeting or event.
Taking actions to improve energy levels and endurance can help avoid a future burnout. Taking short breaks periodically, before needing a much longer one, can postpone the onset of fatigue. Exercising enough to get energy but not too much to cause more fatigue can be helpful. Sleeping enough and eating well are also great sources of energy. Planning your workload according to how you expect energy levels to be can also be helpful.
Once a burnout takes hold, sometimes the best thing to do is take a break, even if it sacrifices production in the immediate term. The antidotes above can help us refuel, eliminate burnouts, and help us get back to work stronger than ever. I hope the above will help you come back completely rejuvenated and stronger than before!
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