Stress is unavoidable. We all experience it from time to time and for different reasons.
But there’s a difference between being a bit stressed out and feeling so overwhelmed that you’ve almost burned out.
A lot of people experience burnout, especially at work. But there are ways to prevent it.
Ready to learn how?
Here are seven ways to reduce your stress level and avoid burnout at work.
1. Improve Your Time Management Skills
Often that overwhelming feeling comes when you feel like you have a ton of things to do but not enough hours in the day to get them all done.
Your boss may be putting too much on your plate. That happens in every office from time to time. But the reason you’re feeling overwhelmed might not be because of your boss. It might be because of you.
If you’re falling behind on projects and responsibilities, you might need to work on your productivity. And you can improve your productivity if you know how to manage your time.
Once you learn how to hone your time management skills, you’ll be able to get things done faster and more efficiently.
2. Create Boundaries
It’s your right to set boundaries and limitations as to what you can and can’t do. As long as you’re doing the job they hired you to do, you should let your boss and coworkers know what your limitations are.
Everyone needs downtime. Without it, burnout is inevitable.
So let your boss know that you’re only available when you’re in the office and that you won’t be able to respond to calls or emails at midnight or on the weekends. It’s fine to make exceptions for something crucial, but on a day-to-day basis, you should be strict about your boundaries.
It’s also important to take time off to decompress and de-stress. Vacation days and paid time off exist for the sole purpose of helping you create a decent work-life balance.
3. Unplug As Often As You Can
Just because your phone is always in your pocket doesn’t mean you have to instantly answer every call or respond to every work email that comes your way. Don’t check your emails or take calls at nights or on weekends.
When your workday is over with, let it stay that way!
You should also avoid doing work from home as much as possible. Don’t open up your laptop after dinner so you can do more work. Instead, unplug and detach as much as you possibly can.
4. Schedule Breaks Throughout the Day
Taking vacation days and weekends off are essential, but it’s just as important to give yourself mini-breaks every single day.
Take a lunch break to eat and relax for a half-hour or so. If you can, spend a few minutes outside to get some vitamin D and enjoy the sunshine. With a quick walk around the office parking lot, you can get some sun and get in a few minutes of exercise.
Besides a lunch break, take five or ten minutes breaks every few hours. You’ll feel better for doing so, and you’ll actually be more productive if you give your brain the chance to rest.
The more productive you can be, the less stressed you’ll feel!
5. Learn How to Say No
Just because you’re vying for a promotion or a raise doesn’t mean you need to volunteer to do every new task or spearhead every new project. Take on what you can, but don’t take on so much that you get burnt out.
Do you have to travel a lot for business? If so, it won’t be long before all those long flights and days away from home start taking their toll on you. Try to cut back on traveling as much as you can. Not only is traveling sometimes exhausting, but it can take away from that at-home downtime that’s so important.
If your boss dumps more work on you than you can handle, let them know. It is okay to say no sometimes. And if you’re afraid to (or unwilling to) say no — learn to delegate.
6. Learn to Delegate
You can’t do everything yourself. It’s impossible. If you have an assistant or a team that works under you, delegate as much as you possibly can to them.
Just make sure that you delegate the right tasks to the right people. As a manager or supervisor, it’s up to you to identify everyone’s key strengths.
Failure to do so will be a poor reflection of your management skills. It could also result in you having to re-do work that you could have assigned to someone else.
7. Find a Job You Love
If you really want to avoid burnout at work, find a job that you love. When you enjoy what you do, you’re more likely to want to do it and less likely to feel stressed over it.
Starting to feel like your job is wearing you down?
It’s time to update your resume. Start looking for opportunities elsewhere, network with your connections, and try to find a new job that will be better suited to your needs.
Starting to experience burnout at work? There are a few steps you can take to prevent it:
- Improve your time management skills to increase productivity
- Create boundaries and set limits with your boss
- Unplug from your devices when you’re not in the office
- Schedule breaks throughout the day
- Learn how to say no!
- Delegate tasks to others
- Find a job that you love to do
You won’t be able to perform your best work if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
Take the necessary steps beforehand to manage your workload. Make downtime a priority. Let your boss know what you can and can’t do.
The trick is to be in control of your own situation. When you are, that feeling of burnout won’t even have a chance to creep in!
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the conventional housing industry and works with Alexan on 20th Street Station on a daily basis to help them with their marketing efforts.