So you started strong right out of the gate. Energized, motivated, ready to conquer the world with an “I’m invincible” mentality. But six months… 12 months… 2 years into it you’re waning fast and feeling like you just need to get out of there. And maybe you do. But before you abandon ship into the vast unknown, why not make some purposeful changes in your life to battle the burnout.
- Read. If you’re not reading, chances are you’re not growing like you could be. And if you’re not growing, you’re dying. Look for things that speak to your passions or challenge you in the workplace. Books and blogs on leadership, management, productivity, spirituality, and personal development are a great place to start.
- Alter your environment. As simple as it sounds, sometimes simply removing clutter from your desk and getting organized is a great way to rejuvenate and clear your mind. Keep your environment between 65ºF and 75ºF for optimal working temperature. Throw open a window, get a new chair that improves your posture and breathing, and ditch those awful fluorescent lights!
- Innovate something. Even if you generally like your job, there are things that just suck the life out of you. These tasks are perfect candidates for overhaul and can provide just the the spark you need to pull out of the burnout slump. Look for things in your job that could be automated in some way, or maybe even eliminated all together. Even if you’re not a problem solver, innovation in your job can give you a sense of freshness in your work and could lead to learning new things and even a nice pat on the back from the boss.
- Pay attention to your body. I really can’t say enough about how important your physical condition is to your work. Like it or not, diet and physical activity is a major player in how you feel at work. Engaging in a workout routine and limiting your intake of poor quality and unhealthy foods could be just what the doctor ordered. Your energy levels will soar and correspondingly you’ll see your job satisfaction and success level rise as well.At the risk of sounding superficial, upgrading your work attire could do wonders in battling burnout as well. Feeling good about yourself both on the inside and outside helps to instill a natural confidence that will translate into your work. Your posture is also an important part of this, so pay attention to how much your slumping at your desk or slouching while you walk.I could go on and on about how important your physical being is in relation to your work, but I’ll save it for another post.
- Dive Deeper. Here’s an unpredictable method for battling burnout that has worked for me a number of times in the past. When we’re weighed down and overwhelmed by our work, I think we tend to begin to disconnect and slowly begin to float towards the surface of our jobs. We switch to maintain mode.When this begins to happen we lose sight of that purpose and passion we once found in our work. By making a purposeful change of mindset to dive deeper into your work you can turn this around and rediscover the satisfaction you once had. It’s not an intuitive method, but it has worked time and again for me.
Burnout does not have to be anything more than a temporary dissatisfaction with the work your doing. Naturally we all get a little restless and come to points where we question what we’re doing with our lives. The mistake often lies in how we deal with, or don’t deal with, burnout when it does occur.
These are simple solutions for addressing the periodic burnout that I think we all tend to encounter every now and then. These things have worked for me at one time or another and so I pass them on to you in hopes that one of them might get you through this temporary slump you’re in. But if there are deeper challenges that you face –more serious and difficult issues that are weighing on your heart– then perhaps a more drastic change may be necessary. But before you make any drastic changes, I would challenge you to confront the burnout proactively and take steps to eliminate it from your life.