How can You Prevent Burnout?
Burnout is common in overachievers. Instead of pausing to “smell the roses,” you make increasing demands on your time and energy. These demands may be self-imposed or arise from an intensive work environment. Yet the end result is the same: a steady depletion of personal resources. Before you lose your joy and motivation to perform, it pays to be pro-active by adopting the following guidelines.
1) Research shows that fun is a great antidote to burnout, especially if you do it with a friend. Try to set aside personal time each week to do whatever makes you happy, so long as it isn’t goal-oriented.
2) It’s impossible to be perfect, so stop trying. Everyone makes mistakes. Some are important and can serve as learning experiences; others aren’t a big deal. Find out where you have some leeway, then take it!
3) You don’t need to be superhuman. In fact, it’s useful to ask for help when you need it, including quenching your thirst for recognition for a job well done. Let someone special know when you need a pat on the back.
4) Pace yourself at work by taking short breaks throughout the day, an hour off from technology like computers & cell phones (particularly before you go to sleep). Find some hobbies that have nothing to do with your work.
5) Reduce stress and boost your immune system through nutritious meals and sufficient sleep (at least 8 hours per/night). Weekly regenerative activities, such as massages, acupuncture, and yoga also aid recovery.
Remember: You can prevent burnout by creating a balance between work and recovery. While you may initially resist this idea for fear of being “lazy,” you will actually increase your productivity and be a happier person.