Last year was a tough year, wasn’t it? While you might think workers around the world might’ve experienced the worse burnout of their lives during that year, it’s actually this year that we’re seeing a higher percentage of leaders experiencing burnout this year compared to last year.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of burnout and are finding it harder and harder to remain focused and motivated throughout the workday, then here are four ways you can deal with it.
Set a time for yourself each day
Sometimes we forget that we only work a 9–5 job—many unintentionally work a double shift because their minds are constantly at work even after the eight-hour workday is over. If you’re frustrated because it’s the weekend and you still feel like you’re still at work mentally, then it’s time you learn how to properly separate your personal life from work. And one way you could do that is by making time for yourself when you’re off work, even if it’s only a half hour a day of quality time with yourself away from anything else.
Schedule time for yourself everyday where you can do something that is either relaxing or fun. If you enjoy evening walks before sunset, take a thirty-minute walk around the neighborhood while being present with your surroundings. If you prefer staying indoors, catch up with a friend or family member, or just simply use this time to watch your favorite show.
Remember “the Spark”
This is a term we know all too well in the context of relationships, but have you ever felt that jolt of excitement in the pits of your stomach whenever you came across something you’re interested in or passionate about? That’s the spark we’re talking about. And when you’re burned out and sick of work, it’s hard to remember that “spark” you had when you first realized what compelled you to choose to work in the field you’re currently in—now it’s time you reignite that passion within you once more.
A great way to combat burnout is to remind yourself why you do the work that you do, and what drew you to it in the first place. Was it a convention somewhere? A book you read? An expert whose videos you used to binge watch on YouTube? Go back to that very thing that gave you that spark and got you interested in the work that you do. Find an online workshop, learn a new skill that might up your game at work, or read a book that talks about the latest advancements made in your field of work, anything that can bring back the passion you initially had for your job.
Prioritize when you can
When you’re always met with a huge list of tasks you would need to complete, work will slowly start feeling like a chore rather than a means to achieve an ambitious, exciting company vision.
Next time you go to work, try shrinking that list so that you’re down to only three tasks. If you want to know which task deserves to be in your “Top 3,” consider these questions: which task, if completed today, will move you closer to your goals (even just a little)? Is there a time-sensitive task you need to finish by tomorrow? Which task will make you feel like you’re making any type of progress, big or small? Once you have your “Top 3,” try your hardest to continue working on those tasks only and nothing else. That way you’ll gain back your focus without pushing yourself beyond your limits.
Check out Tim Ferriss’ spectacular prioritization technique when you’re too tired to focus on more than one thing a day and don’t want to compromise on progress at the same time.
Speaking of limits, delegate
It’s important to note first that delegating tasks you can’t do isn’t a simple matter of giving out random tasks that you don’t have time for to your coworkers or employees. Delegating is about understanding your limits, and therefore, assigning tasks to the right people with the right expertise for the task.
Take a look at some of the tasks and duties you’re carrying out on a daily basis: Is there someone who can do a better, quicker, more efficient job at it? Do you know someone around the office who is interested in developing the skills required for the task you have at hand? If you give this task away to someone else, will it help you focus on the goals you need to accomplish? The answers to these questions will help you better understand what tasks you need to assign to someone else, and also “declutter” your to-do list and make way for the tasks that will improve your progress.