Most of us have experienced burnout at some level in our jobs. It is not unique to any particular industry and it can have a negative effect on both our personal lives and our work performance. You might even love your job and what you get to do in that role every day, but that doesn’t disqualify you from experiencing burnout due to repetition or long hours.
Employers everywhere are searching for strategies to support their employees more and help them avoid this productivity killer. In 2022, employees are expecting more out of their workplaces and holding management to a higher standard. Workers want to feel valued, cared for, and respected by the company that they dedicate so many hours to.
Burnout has been a leading factor in the Great Resignation of the last two years, causing employees to quit their jobs across the country. But it is also an issue that can be overcome without having to leave your place of employment. Here are a few solutions that can help you beat this feeling and get back to enjoying, or at least being content with, your work.
Find a project to complete
Burnout is often a result of feeling like you are not accomplishing anything or doing the same task over and over. A great way to counteract this is to find an activity or project that will give you a goal to accomplish. The real reward comes with finishing this project, as it will give you a sense of completing a task successfully. You can come up with a landscaping project to do on the weekends or in the evenings like plant a vegetable garden, or put in an outdoor patio. Maybe you could take up a craft like woodworking or knitting that will result in a finished product that you can be proud of. The idea is to have a task that you have CHOSEN that can be completed which will address the lack of accomplishment at work.
Learn a new skill
Applying the part of your brain that embraces curiosity can be a great defense against burnout. Do some research and find a skill that you would be excited to apply in the future, whether at work or at home, and then look for online classes or tutorials to start off. You could learn creative writing, how to become an artist, or how to fix up your car by yourself. You can even get a license to be an electrician or plumber if you are interested in working with your hands on the side for a little extra income. There are plenty of potential skills that you can learn on your own time with the help of the internet, so take advantage and engage your mind to combat burnout.
Invest in self-care
An often overlooked solution to feeling burnout at work, caring for yourself physically may seem unrelated to your experience as an employee. But taking the time to practice healthy habits can take your mind off of the mundaneness of work and give you confidence as you go through your day. Even if you are busy, implementing self-care can improve your mindset and improve your work performance, as well as your overall happiness. Simple things like making time for exercise, eating healthier meals, and being intentional about a consistent sleep schedule can drastically improve your morale.
Be honest about burnout
This will depend upon your work situation, but in many cases, simply telling others about where your mind is can be helpful. If your manager is approachable and understanding, don’t be afraid to go to them and discuss the fact that you are feeling burnout. A great manager will work with you to find solutions and maybe adjust certain aspects of your job to get you back to a positive outlook. If sharing with your boss is not an option, or feels intimidating, talk with a coworker about it. Maybe they are going through or have experienced something similar and have some ideas about getting through it. Additionally, sharing the fact that you are burnt out with a close friend or family member is important so that you are not carrying the burden alone and in secret. Being honest about it with others could result in you receiving the emotional support that you need to continue performing and feeling positive.
Whatever you do, don’t bury it
The worst thing you can do is ignore the problem and hope it goes away. Unless something changes, it most likely will not. But in order to see something change, you will probably have to do something about it. If the nature of your job is causing burnout, you will need to figure out a way for it to be more manageable, either through a perspective shift or changes to your role. If you are just tired of the repetition of your job, or feel that you are not accomplishing anything of value, finding a project to work on at home or a skill to learn can negate that mindset. If a job is stressing you out, let someone know who can support you. Don’t accept that burnout should just be a part of your life. Instead, try some of these solutions so that you can get back to enjoying life to the fullest.