Burnout is something that many professionals experience during their careers. When you're experiencing burnout it feels incredibly challenging to self motivate and get work done. You might feel like you don't want to go into work, you need to leave your job, or your performance goes down. In this article, we'll share some of our tips for understanding and overcoming your burnout.
There are several reasons why burnout might occur:
- you're working too long or too hard
- you're not enjoying the work that you're doing
- you're not feeling appreciated for your accomplishments
- you don't feel like you're able to grow in your current role
- you haven't been taking care of yourself or your needs
This isn't an exhaustive list but can help give you an idea of some of the reasons why it might occur. There is no set amount of time that burnout typically lasts for and it varies from person to person depending on the changes they make to take care of themselves. Burnout typically doesn't go away on its own over time but can get worse if it's not addressed.
Begin to Set Boundaries at Work
It's really easy to be a 'yes man' and consistently do all the things that your boss and clients ask of you. Sometimes when you're always saying yes, and never saying no, it can lead to an overwhelming amount of work and burnout.
Learning how to say no is one of the first ways that you can help yourself to give you the space that's needed to reset and regroup. We recently wrote an article on how to say no at work if you need help learning these tools.
Boundaries can exist outside of just saying no, and can be shown by capping the amount of time that you spend at work. Some company and industry cultures insist upon working long hours and overtime. It's no longer a 9-5 job that's enough and it can slowly creep up to 9, 10, or 11 hours a day. Honestly, nothing surprises me anymore, even when I hear about people pulling 12-14 hours a day. Sometimes this is something that you have to do or choose to do, but if this is a consistent pattern for months or years on end, it's time to set up boundaries of when you are and aren't willing to work extra.
Take Time Off the Grid
Don't forget to take breaks. We have vacation for a reason. In the US, we haven't adopted longer vacation policies like the rest of the world, but there's no reason to not take time off to get away, recover, and reset. Some companies offer unlimited paid vacation and many professionals, especially those earlier in their careers are afraid to use them. Take advantage of paid vacation! Companies factor this into your compensation and if you're at one of these companies ensure that you're taking 3-5 weeks off per year.
Don't do this to the detriment of your team, but find ways to work together so everyone is able to take time off and reset.
Understand Your Motivations
Earlier we discussed that motivations can play a roll in burnout. If you're doing work that is completely demoralizing, it's much easier to burn out. If there are certain elements of your job that you enjoy and that are motivating, discuss with your boss if it's possible to include more of these types of projects within your job.
Outside of what you're working on, what else is a motivating factor? If you respond well to being appreciated for what you're doing and aren't currently getting this, talk to your boss to talk about what kinds of feedback would be helpful. Many bosses want to work with you to keep you motivated because they know that a happy motivated employee is a productive employee. It boosts company culture, revenue, and productivity all around when employees are doing well. Don't worry about being an inconvenience. This is your life and your career and you have power. To learn more we created articles on How to Find Fulfilling Work to help your better understand your motivation and How to Stay Motivated as a Freelancer to help you on your journey!