April 16, 2019

47: Managing Stress and Avoiding Burnout

We all experience stress at work. Ideally, it’s short lived and easily manageable. When a heightened state of stress becomes the new normal, you may be on the way to burnout. While burnout is the extreme and typically rare case, it’s critical to notice when stress, frustration, overload and overwhelm are taking over. They’re the signs burnout may be coming.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Job burnout is different from depression or other mental or emotional conditions.
  • Burnout occurs when you are physically or emotionally exhausted from work in ways that lead to a sense of lack of accomplishment, reduced motivation, and loss of personal identity.
  • Burnout is caused by a number of factors including (1) lack of control, (2) unclear expectations, (3) extremes of activity, (4) dysfunctional workplace dynamics, (5) lack of social support, and (6) work-life imbalance.
  • Look for signs of stress, frustration, overload and overwhelm so you can manage stress and avoid burnout.
  • Find a de-stressor that works for you which you can use ‘in the moment’ to regain a sense of calm.
  • Change your situation or change the environment. Do something to get yourself out of the stressful situation if only for a few days.
  • Plan a no-meetings day each month to catch up on work, have uninterrupted focus time or do some self care.
  • Admit when you’ve got too much on your plate and ask for help or let things go.
  • Know what’s most important so you can make choices and not feel guilty.
  • Invest in your health by getting enough sleep, exercise and healthy eating.
  • Nourish your soul and recharge by doing things you love.
  • Remember why you do the work you do and what about your role you find meaningful.
  • If all else fails, consider if it’s time to change organizations, fields, roles or careers.

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