*BEEP BEEP BEEP* The dreaded alarm clock bleats out at you on a Monday morning. The weekend went by in a flash. It doesn't feel like two minutes since you were last at work.
You hit the snooze button and try and get some last-second shut-eye. You feel exhausted, but it's time to get up. Throwing the blankets back over your head is the desired option. The last thing you want to do is get out of bed, but time is pressing. Sluggishly and reluctantly, you open your eyes and drag yourself toward the bathroom. The sink props you up as you look at your bloodshot eyes in the mirror. 'Here we go again...'
You, my friend, are suffering from burnout. (Also known as a lack of passion, purpose and energy.)
Here are five clever ways to avoid burnout.
#1: PUT WORK AND LIFE IN THE SAME CATEGORY
There is a misconception when it comes to a work-life balance. The fundamental reason for this is they're the same thing. If you work full-time, you spend most of your time at work, meaning it is your life. By separating the two, it's easy to blame burnout on work. But burnout is a consequence of life, not just work. Dealing with burnout means not only looking at your work situation but also your life situation.
#2: TAKE REGULAR BREAKS
You need a break – that's obvious. But what kind of break? A holiday seems like an obvious solution for burnout, but the travel back from a holiday can make you feel more tired than when you left! A day off here or there won't cut it for most of us. We need regular breaks to prevent burnout. That doesn't mean having to jet off somewhere. Something as simple as a solo bike ride can help put you back in touch with yourself. (Emphasis is on the solo.) If riding bikes isn't your thing, what is? Do it regularly enough that you feel the benefit.
#3: EXPECT BURNOUT
You're busy. You're stressed. You've got too much to do and not enough time to do it! You don't expect that to change anytime soon. That's OK – with one caveat – you should expect to burnout at some stage. You're a human being and, like all humans, you have limits. At least if you expect to burnout at some point it won't hit you like a ton of bricks when it happens.
#4: CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Being stuck in the same four walls (at home or work) is mentally exhausting. It's boring! The repetitiveness of it all is enough to test anyone's patience and burn out any mind. Where and when you can, get up. Change your environment. Take plenty of short breaks – even if that means a short trip across the office or a quick trip to the local shop. A change is as good as a rest, as they say.
#5: JUMPING JACK
Resting up is the clear choice when feeling exhausted, downbeat and knackered! But when we sit still and rest for long periods of time, our bodies produce less energy. This reduced energy feeds into the burnout, making its effects lasting and powerful. Although doing something physically demanding seems counterproductive to burnout, it's not. Increasing your energy through physical activity (exercise) is the very thing you need to do to get out of the burnout cycle. Get up and give yourself ten – you'll thank yourself for it later.