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5 Antidotes for a Burnout

5 Antidotes for a Burnout

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.

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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.

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1. Spend time with friends and family

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.

2. Get a change of scenery

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.

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3. “Digital detox”

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.

4. Catch up on sleep

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.

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5. Preemptive actions

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.

Conclusion

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!

More by this author

Mike Fishbein

Mike is an enterpreneur and digital marketing leader.

15 Fast and Easy Ways to Boost Mental Energy Levels How to Get More Energy for an Instant Morning Boost 10 Business Networking Tips: Grow Your Professional Network How Blogging Can Help You Grow Your Professional Network 5 Antidotes for a Burnout

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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