This week at work I overheard some conversations about people feeling burned out at work. I know what this feels like, to feel as though you are pulling your weight and the weight of 6 other people. Most of us begin to feel this way after being at the same job for some time, or because the workplace is short-staffed or unorganized. These feelings of being overwhelmed in a workplace are becoming a topic of conversation far too often. How can we tackle this feeling? We can start by looking at ourselves and being sure we are getting everything we need.
Let’s first tackle a problem many of us have when it comes to our free time, saying NO. That’s right the word no is a problem when it comes to our free time because to many of us don’t seem to be able to say this word. No is the most important 2 letter word that we can use to help us with our self-care and mindset. You have to learn that it is ok to say No, I can not help, or No, I don’t want to go, or even No, I am too tired. This is the one word that as simple as it is people have trouble saying. Don’t worry I am definitely in the group of people that struggle with this. I have however tried to do better with not overcommitting and using this wonderful word.
The next problem many of us face that goes hand in hand with our wonderful word No is making our to-do list during our free time much longer than it needs to be. Don’t get me wrong I understand that we can not always get stuff done on the days we have work, however, we need to prioritize better leaving time for our own relaxation and fun. This is when you have to tell yourself No. Let’s take for example a typical free day for me which may include things like: Take son to practice, get groceries, pick up feed, drop off recycling, make dinner, work on the blog. All things that can be accomplished in a day, but do I really want to run around all day and not relax? Is there a way to take some of this off my plate? Maybe try to do a few of those things during my son’s practice so that I don’t just sit watching practice not getting things accomplished. Maybe I can send my husband to do one or two of those things, or lastly, maybe I can just not do something. I try to decide which things absolutely need doing and start with that, then I take a moment to relax and decide if I can do any more with my day. I try to be sure that making dinner is the last thing on my list and that after dinner it is just cleaning up and having time with the family. I don’t like to add in a quick trip to the store or doing laundry because now is the time to relax and everything else can wait.
Now back to problem number one feeling burned out at work. If you start to tackle this problem by using your free time to actually relax the problems at work may seem more in the realm of something you can take on since now you will be coming into work well-rested. Being well-rested will not alone fix your problems at work. You also need to take a step back and figure out what about the job is causing you to be burned out. Is it because here just like in your personal life No is a hard word. Do you continue to do more and more even if it is not in your job to always do so? Maybe you need to start practicing the use of this word at work too. Of course please don’t just say No to everything and get yourself fired but do make a decision to only take on what you are able to do and do well.
Next, look at your job and decide whether it is the job itself. Are you burned out because this job seems tedious, or do you realize this is no longer your passion? This may be a sign to start looking for something new. Is it the people you work with? I have had that issue and to combat that I just did my job and tried my best not to get angry with those around me. Most of the time I would remove myself from the situation and start with another task that I could do alone or with a fellow employee that I enjoy working with. I realize we don’t all have the ability to change who or what we are doing at work, but maybe if we take a look at the situation from a different point of view we can find a way to get through it without feeling like we are going to die.
In the end, you know what is best for you and if you can continue on in the job or routine that you have, or if you need a change. If you can not change jobs then you may want to change how you spend your day off, remember there are many things that we do that can wait for another day. When we take things off our plates we can then relax and be better ready to tackle those things that cause us stress.
Let me know how you have handled work burn out, maybe your methods will help others!