In our fast-paced society, there’s a lot of pressure to be constantly busy. But this isn’t necessarily good for us as humans. Sure, you’re going to have busier days or weeks come around, but you shouldn’t have to feel like you’re constantly pushing yourself to the limit every day. That’s how you put yourself on the fast track to burnout and breakdown.
Here are a few ways that you can avoid burning yourself out in your daily work life. It’s interesting that these same ideas also increase productivity and creativity.
- Take short breaks more often. You don’t necessarily have to spend more time taking breaks during the day, but taking small breaks regularly throughout the day rather than one or two longer breaks is more likely to help keep you refreshed. It will help you to break up the work day much better and give you a chance to recharge your attention span throughout the day. When you complete an important task, get up and take a five minute walk. Recharge your brain and your body at the same time.
- When you’re away from work, be away from work. There are so many people who make the mistake of blurring the line between their work and home life. The minute you set the precedent of taking your work home with you is the minute that you start being always on the clock. It’s important to have time specifically reserved for relaxation and enjoyment. If you stay focused on work even after your work day comes to an end, you raise the probability of stressing yourself out very quickly.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew. You should definitely keep a daily to-do list handy so you can see what tasks you’ve got on your schedule. An added benefit of having this list is that it can help you to keep from over-scheduling yourself. At the end of your day, prepare tomorrow’s list. Then you’ll start right up with what’s important rather what is simply distracting busy work. And always celebrate crossing off completed tasks.
- Delegate – even when it’s uncomfortable to do so. When things get really busy, ask for help. This can be especially difficult for the perfectionist. But it’s necessary. You simply can’t do everything, so you need people you can trust to help you out during your peak periods. This is especially important to keep in mind if you run your own business.
I completely understand that it can be hard to separate yourself from your work sometimes, but for your own personal sanity it’s important that you do it. These tips should help you out.
Got any questions, feedback or other ideas? Let me know.
John J. Hall, CPA
John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events.
Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”