Make every effort to stick to the number of hours you’re required to work.One of the first clues you’re gravitating toward over-work is noticing that you’re working more hours than necessary. I do have a caveat … unless you are planning to become a CEO or occupy a high level position of authority.
- For example, if you’re hired to work 40 hours weekly and you notice you’re actually working 44 or 45 hours, recognize that continuing to work at that level will eventually catch up with you.
- Working extra hours from time to time may benefit your career advancement or your pocketbook. But the long-term effects of chronic overwork may leave you inefficient in the very job you’re seeking to excel in.
Utilize tools at work to help you do your job more efficiently.Take the time to learn how to operate the timesaving “tools” found in your workplace.
- For example, perhaps you’re responsible for copying and putting together a multiple-page employee manual and you still don’t know how to use the fancy copy machine that copies, collates and staples documents. In this case, spending the time necessary to learn to operate the copier might shorten many of your tasks, making them quicker and easier.
Delegate.If possible, assign some of your tasks to others whenever you can. One of the signs of burnout is the belief that no one can do the job or a task as well as you can.
- Whether or not your belief about others is true, you don’t have to act on it. When you do, the result is that you do more and more of the work.
- When you delegate, you also give others the opportunity to grow and develop. If you’re in a position to delegate, fostering this growth may even be part of your job!
Take breaks.It’s important to divert your mind a few times each day from your work projects.
- Take a coffee break and chat with your co-workers about the television show you watched last night.
- Call your partner to plan an entertaining activity for later on today or the upcoming weekend.
- Whatever you do during your break, get out of your usual environment. If you normally stare at a computer screen, go outside or gaze out a window. If you’re running around as part of your job, take a relaxing break. Sit down somewhere or take a nap if you can.
Make it a habit to take all time off to which you’re entitled.Taking the time off that you’re allotted will help you prevent sick days from job burnout.
- During those vacations and personal days, recharge your batteries by engaging in activities that are totally unrelated to your work.
- As much as possible, unplug from your work completely during this time.
Stay in touch with your feelings related to your work.Acknowledge your feelings; they’re all valid and worth evaluating. Plus, your feelings can be your first clue that you’re headed toward job burnout.
- Are you getting tired of working all the time? Are you totally excited and interested in your job? Or is it becoming humdrum or even a hassle?
- If you discover you’re feeling negatively about your work, take steps to resolve the challenges that are causing you to feel this way. It’s important that your work provides a positive force in your life rather than zap all your energy.