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7 Things You Need To Do To Avoid Mental Burnout

7 Things You Need To Do To Avoid Mental Burnout

It’s way too easy to get swept up in the daily grind of work. Bringing home that stress cuts into your family time, and you already have enough going on with your home life. Trying to balance a social life and more on top of all of that only adds to the weight on your shoulders. When all of this adds up, you might feel like you can’t tackle anything, even the simplest of daily tasks. These tips will help you avoid mental burnout and all the unhappiness it can bring into your life.

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    1. Watch for the signs.

    Be aware of the signs of mental burnout. Don’t think that it’s simply stress that will go away over time. Physically, you might get sick more often, or see changes in your sleeping or eating habits. Emotionally, you might feel detached and not care about anything you used to. You might withdraw from others and shy away from responsibilities you would previously be excited to take on. This might feel like an extended period of stress, or some sort of depression, but be aware that it could be burnout.

    2. Stay healthy.

    You might feel bad because of the stress, but make sure you stay healthy. Get enough sleep every night. Keep eating healthy. Exercising daily will not only keep you healthy, but by giving your body a workout and your mind something else to focus on, it can help you out of any depression you might be experiencing.

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    3. Take a break from the grind.

    If you have vacation time, use it. Call in for a sick day. If it’s not possible to actually take time off, try to disconnect from technology every day. Turn off your phone, push back from the computer, and don’t turn on the TV. Do what you like to do to relax. Read a book on the couch. Do yoga by yourself. Or completely disconnect from real life by meditating for an hour and clearing your entire mind.

    4. Keep your days manageable.

    Don’t put more on your plate than you can handle. Keep your To Do lists short, and make sure you can accomplish everything in the time you have available. Having an unsurmountable To Do list will only increase your feelings of helplessness. If you only have enough energy to make it through the work day, clear your schedule so that’s all you have to do. Keep big projects at bay until the weekend when you have more time, or for when you might feel better.

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    5. Take advantage of your support system.

    Your family and friends love you‒take advantage of this! Tell them what’s going on and what you’re having trouble with. They’ll be more than willing to help out in any way they can. Don’t be afraid to let them step in to pick up the slack. If someone offers to make you dinner, don’t turn them away and insist you can do it yourself. Accept help when you need it. It will help you avoid burnout, or bounce back quicker from any stress you may already be experiencing.

    6. Reassess your priorities.

    Is your job causing you more stress than it’s worth? Think about what could make it easier on you and talk to your boss. If you’re asking for reasonable things, like more time to finish projects, or an assistant to help with the workload, your concerns will more than likely be well received. If it’s not possible to redefine your job duties, try to have a list of priorities. Are presentations most important? Put those at the top of your list and try to forget about other tasks until you’ve met your major deadlines.

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    If your home life is troubling you, try to find a solution to the problems. Is your partner not doing as much with the children as they could? What about those kids‒could their chore list be added to so the house stays cleaner without taking more of your time? If the bulk of the workload is left to you, then prioritize what needs to be done. Make dinner in a crock pot, and let the dishwasher run while you’re at work. Clean every other weekend, instead of every few days.

    7. Have a creative outlet.

    Don’t let the hassle of real life get you down. Have a creative outlet to relieve the stress of the daily grind. Vent in a journal after work, or try writing fiction stories as an escape outlet. Draw pictures, or create abstract paintings on canvas even if you don’t have much artistic talent. Knit scarves for gifts, or try making up your own recipes in the kitchen. There’s something you enjoy doing that you always push to the back burner. Let it take priority every once in awhile to ensure you’re keeping the rest of your life in check.

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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