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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!

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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