Avoiding burnout – identify the signs and take action!

It is actually possible to have a thriving life outside of the work place AND achieve business success…who knew?!

Oh my, oh my, oh my! If someone could have told my twenty year old self that living a well rounded life and high performance were not mutually exclusive, I could have saved myself years of stress, frustration and late nights! And burnout would not have been an all too familiar feeling.

Hands up if you think that the more hours you put into slogging your guts at work, the more you will get out? i.e. you would climb the corporate status ladder quicker, get that elusive pay rise sooner, sweep up on your bonus etc. Yep…I have been there. With bells on!!!

The problem (that I have now realised) is that I was doing myself a massive dis-service! I was operating waaaaaaaaay below my optimum, my brain was tired and therefore I had less focus and  mental sharpness leading to results and outputs that were way below my best. Working harder has the opposite effect to the one we are striving for and it can lead to burnout.

An extensive study from BUPA revealed that because of this unsustainable pressure we are putting on ourselves, 44% of us living in the UK suffer from stress. This is not the kind of stress that benefits us but giving us a little push to meet a deadline or go the extra mile, this is the kind of long term stress that leads to burnout and has massive long term impacts on our physical wellbeing.

How to identify and manage burnout

The article below identifies some of the warning signs that you may be suffering from burnout and need to take action. It also outlines some simple tactics to fight it off or waaaaaaaaaay better that that, prevent it in the first place.

In addition to these I have outlined my simple top 5 tips for managing stress:

  1. Simplify. When you simplify your life, the fog can lift a little and you emerge from life with a clearer head. Identify things at work and home that are cluttering your head and declutter. e.g. clear your desk at work, tidy your house, spend a couple of hours completing your life admin. Pick a couple of simple things that can quickly and easily create some space in your head.
  2. Structure. Get organised by implementing some simple structures into your life including to-do lists, diary management, weekly/monthly planning etc
  3. Meditate. You do not even want to think about how many hours we spend in our own heads each day wasting time!/ Meditation allows us to catch our monkey minds in action, bring us back to the present moment and create space for our minds to think more clearly.
  4. Technology boundaries. How the heck are we ever supposed to de-stress when we are constantly connected to work through our various devices. Setting boundaries in the evening and weekends are a bare minimum to allow you to recharge the batteries.
  5. Take time out. Even for 10 minutes per day if that is all you can manage, create your own “happiness list” and make time in your diary to do something off that list every day. e.g. a walk in nature, a cup of tea with a friend, a yoga class etc It will give you time to step away from the day-to-day tasks and gain a little more perspective.

Check out the full article on burnout – identifying the signs and managing the situation here: Avoiding burnout

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