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How to Avoid Burnout

  • Broadcast in Management



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Tired of not having energy? Feel like you are burning the candle at both ends?  Join Angela as she gives a few tips on how to avoid burnout at work


0:06 Angela Joyner

Well hello everyone! This is Angela Joyner from thewonderloft.com. And you are now listening to The Wonder Loft session. Tonight, we are going to be talking about the best way to beat burnout. Edna St. Vincent Millay said "my candle burns at both ends, it will not last the night". Defining burnout is not as simple as one might think because it affects so many aspects of your life. In the book "Beyond Burnout", David Welch and Donald Medeiros describe burnout as a condition that affects you physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually. And I know when I have been burning my candle on both ends, I have felt it everywhere. So, how do you tell if you have actually have burnout? One of the things that you need to be able to identify is the warning signs. You could be on the verge of burnout if you are frustrated, overwhelmed, get angry very easy. You feel like you lack control at work or how to do your job or what goes on in the workplace. You may actually have frequent emotional outburst or just blow up at people. You get up in the morning dreading going to work. For some, they actually get physically ill whether that is a headache, a stomachache, or could actually develop ulcers. For some, they may cope by increasing their use of alcohol, drugs, or food. You may think about quitting or running away, but really have a fear of doing so. Unfortunately, taking a few days off to escape or taking a vacation to Tahiti would not contain the burnout and simply leaving your job for another one is not an effective strategy either.

2:04 Angela Joyner

Burnout truthfully has more to do with your attitude, your work style, and your behavior than it does the specific job. The downside with burnout is that it affects so many people. In the last two years, 14% of the workforce has quit or changed their jobs due to stress. Moreover, even more recent study said that 1 in 3 Americans are expected to experience burnout on the job in the near future. So really truthfully, it does not seem to be going away. So how can you avoid becoming one of those unfortunate people contributing to this burnout statistics? I have 8 things that might actually help you to avoid burnout. Number 1 -- Become a master at self-management. Take the time to set clear goals and objectives. Make sure that they are measurable and then take the time in the morning or at some point in time during the day to plan out your day and focus on those activities that are most important. Typically on my desk, I keep a to-do sheet where I just put 3 things that I need to get done on the next hour. Three things to get done on the hour, so that I have a road map for my day. I often color code my meetings or bucket activities that are similar so that I can focus on one area of similar things at the same time. Whether that is returning emails and phone calls, blocking all my meetings maybe in the morning when I am most efficient in terms of being up to date and being focused, reading -- I bulk my activities that way. By dedicating some time for planning, you can be better prepared for what is ahead. On Friday's, I take a couple of hours and plan and look at my calendar for the week ahead just doing what meetings I need to make sure that I am prepared for in advance.

4:02 Angela Joyner

That allows me to have some control over not only my day, but also how I approach it. Number 2 -- Stress management. The first way to deal with stress is to understand how you actually respond and react to stress. Are you the type of person, who charges during stressful time, or do you actually back away and retreat. When you are stressed out, do you become irritable or more of a reckless? If you know how you respond to stress, you can build up a lot better strategies to manage it. Some effective ways to ease off some of the edge at work is to take more breaks. If you can, exercise in the middle of the day or even just get up and walk for 5 minutes on your floor. Eat healthier foods. Take time out in between your meetings. Do not schedule it for an hour back to back maybe 45 minutes giving you time to do it by over it or just to breathe at your desk. Being intentional about making time for play and raft are also positive ways to deal with stress. When I am stressed at work, I take time to get massages -- well not massages at work, but after work. I paint, I doodle, I might listen to a book on tape just to help me distress from my day before I get home during my commute. During more stressful times at work, I will play a music CD of classical music or some sort of relaxing music. It could be just a playlist of my favorite song. I tend to keep fresh flowers on my desk as well as inspirational quote, bible verses, pictures of my friends and family in my office to help make my work environment much more pleasant. This personal touches help transform my office from the mundane and stressful place of meeting involved to more of my personal sanctuary to which I can retreat when the day's gets crazy busy.

6:04 Angela Joyner

Discover what works best for you and then practice good self-care habits. Number 3 -- Identify your personal support systems. So, who in you are -- what I call entourage or raving fans can help you deal with stress better. Family, friends, coworkers, and even professional organizations can all serve as support systems in your life. Who can you count on when things get stressful? Identify resources that you can use when you need them. I often intentionally schedule time to talk to my parents, my brother, throughout the week that keep focused and grounded on what is most important in my life. Do not hesitate to outsource services if it will make your life easier. By outsourcing task like walking the dog, cleaning the house, taking care of your lawn or even putting your bills on auto pay, allows you free up other time to focus on filling your life with things like your self-care or things that you really do enjoy or even family time, allow you even to finish up something on your to do list. Number 4 -- Expand your repertoire skills. Many of us get into a lot by doing the same things over and over again. Some of our jobs do not really offer a ton of different types of activities throughout the day. To look for opportunities to learn new skills or request assignments that provides an intellectual challenge. Participate in activities that use your natural strength, talent and ability. Rather than become stagnant, you will be able to grow in area that you enjoy. As part of your development, you can look for chances to gain exposure to skills you might actually need your -- at the next clear level or two levels up.

8:02 Angela Joyner

If you do not have the ability to influence the type of project for you to get work, perhaps you can find opportunities for intellectual stimulation outside of work. Maybe it is a club, maybe you have identified something you really enjoy doing and find a group through like meetup.com where you can connect with other people who enjoy the same things you do. Number 5 -- Seek balance in your life. Seek up balance in well structured lifestyle. Most people are looking for work-life balance. I tend to look for what is the right season or rhythm in my life so that I can prioritize those things that need more attention at that time. Schedule time for self-care and rest. I used to laugh when people -- I would have my grandparents or see my grandparents take a nap. Yeah, that is probably the best thing in the world on a Sunday afternoon given my schedule during the week. I also enjoy art and cultural activities. These activities make me happy and feed my soul. To each month, I schedule time to visit a museum, see a show or participate in some creative activity that is very different in what I do at work everyday. Just to allow me to stretch and do something different and kind of manage my stress. Number 6 -- Think positively. Replace that negativity with optimistic thinking. Helpless thinking is only going to make it worse and it is typically a major contributor to burnout. In the field of positive psychology, it is deeply ruded in focusing on what is right with people. By having a positive perspective on your life or even looking at it -- your negative situation from a positive angle, you can increase your fulfillment and your engagement. Trust me. There are both physical and emotional benefits to looking at the world with the lens of glass half full. Number 7 -- Be creative.

10:01 Angela Joyner

Try to find different approaches to the same problems or unpleasant situations. Void free from your everyday routine, let your work stays, express your individuality. By taking a different route to work, you may experience your commute in a totally fresh way. And number 8 -- Try to engage in some humor and playfulness. Humor reduces stress and promotes physical healing. It is essential for mental health and can add years to your life. And do not take yourself so seriously. Watch a funny movie or television, can actually instantly lift your spirits and energy. No wonder they say humor is the best antidote. So those are the 8 steps or 8 ways that you can help reduce burnout in your professional and personal life. If you would like more information on burnout, a good friend of mine, Laurie Erdman, has recently wrote a report called "Burnout. Identify It. Extinguish It. Ignite Your Life. Start a fire in your life today". And it is a free downloadable guide covering the 3-step burnout to balance system that Laurie did all to help hardworking men and women get more vitality, passion, and meaning in their life. The practical guide includes 6 tips, you can easily implement it today. So, if you love that free resource and more information on burnout and how to avoid it, you can go to laurieerdman.com. That is l-a-u-r-i-e-e-r-d-m-a-n.com to get more information. If you do have your work-life in control and you do not think that you are on the verge of burnout, but you consider yourself a highly motivated leader yet you struggle navigating the corporate environment.

12:01 Angela Joyner

Or you wish that you could lead with more authenticity and more confidence and you know that you have what it needs to get promoted and want a little bit more help in knowing what to do to break through to the next level. You could go to thewonderloft.com for free articles, exclusive information on private coaching, sign up for its 30-minute complimentary session or get my free CD. Get recognized, valued, and promoted at work at thewonderloft.com. So that concludes our session for this evening on burnout and the 8 ways to avoid burnout. If you want further information or you have questions regarding burnout or leadership, feel free to reach out to me, Angela Joyner at angela@thewonderloft.com. Again, this was The Wonder Loft session on Blog Talk Radio. It has been wonderful having you this evening. Hope to hear you on the other end next week, same time. Have a wonderful night and sending you off with Robin Wonder.