12 ways to avoid business burnout
How to avoid falling victim to the stresses of business – no matter how tough your job is.EDGAR staff November 19, 2014
Long hours? High pressure? Stress? It doesn't matter how tough you are, if you have too many of these qualities in your work life, you're on the road to business burnout.
It's a real thing. Your mind and body are put under so much strain that they simply can't take it any more and they shut down, leaving your career and your life in tatters.
It might seem like an extreme reaction, but the fact is that our bodies are simply not conditioned to always being "on", and in today's modern, tech-filled world, the demands we're putting them under are, in many cases, too much to handle.
If that sounds familiar, and you think you're feeling like you can't take much more (or even if you just want to make sure it doesn't happen to you), here's how to stop business burnout in it tracks:
1. Be healthy
Rule number one to good mental health is keeping good physical health. That means regular exercise, healthy eating and getting enough sleep. 2. Disconnect
We know it's important to be able to respond to situations quickly, but make sure that there is at least some time when you're completely off call and unreachable under any circumstances.
If needs be, employ someone you trust to stand in while you're taking much-needed you-time.
You may think that you're the best at doing every single job in the business, from allocating the budget to replacing the ink cartridge on the printer, but even if you are, there's a reason why you hired your staff, and trusting them to do their jobs will save you from a world of stress.
4. Focus on the important things
Often there simply isn't enough time in the day to get everything done that you'd ideally like.
But instead of hanging around in the office all night while you're colleagues are happily putting their feet up at home, prioritise only the most important tasks and you'll soon realise than those little things you insisted on doing before were actually unnecessary.
If you prefer to read the Financial Times, tune into the news or read self-improvement books during your leisure time, you're actually keeping yourself in a state of quasi-relaxtion, with one eye still on the business world.
Try a novel or a fantasy film, and suddenly that time spent away from work will become a true escape from the stresses of the real world. 6. Don't dwell on mistakes
While evaluating performance and learning from mistakes is certainly important, dwelling on errors and looking to attribute blame is nothing but counterproductive. Instead, keep investigations brief and take action to ensure the results are different next time.
7. Stop procrastinating
Just as it's important to switch off from work while you're at home, it's also important to concentrate on work while you're in the office. That means no more trawling through Facebook or checking Twitter on your phone during work hours. Your time is precious, and any period of the working day that's wasted only puts you under more pressure to catch up.
8. Stick to a schedule
You wouldn't dream of starting a day without any plan, structure or meetings arranged, so why is that you're never quite sure when the next break is going to be? If you schedule your down time just like you would any other meeting, you don't end up skipping lunch or going without a coffee break because the time is already built into your day.
9. Make fewer decisions
Have you ever noticed that some of the most powerful people in the world always dress the same? That's because they don't want to waste time and energy making unnecessary choices. While we're not suggesting you wear a Mark Zuckerberg-esque grey T-shirt to work every day, spending less time on unimportant decisions will leave you more time for the things that matter.
10. Communicate better
Sending long, wordy emails to the person sitting in the office next door? Sitting through long, rambling meetings where nothing ever gets decided? These are two prime cases of poor communication wasting time, raising stress levels and ultimately increasing the chance of you burning out.
Instead of the long emails, pick up the phone or, better still, get up and speak to your colleague face to face. And instead of having aimless meetings, make sure a clear agenda is set out and a time limit is put in place before you enter the room.
11. Have some fun
Relaxation comes in all shapes and forms, so who's to say that your time off work should be spent on resting and recuperating? Play sport, get out into nature or take up a hobby that will challenge you mentally or physically and you'll realise that there's more to life than work.
12. Stop what makes you unhappy
It really is that simple. Pinpoint whatever it is that is making you irritable, stressed and feeling like you might be about to burn out, and eliminate it from your daily schedule.
We promise, whatever negative effects you get from changing your behaviour aren't half as bad as the ones you'd get from going through a full-blown burnout.