If you find that you are on your way to burnout or already suffering from burnout symptoms, there are things you can do to work against it. One of the most effective things you can do to fight burnout is to create fulfillment at work. This has a very large effect on you because we spend many hours of our day at our jobs or business.
The following list includes suggestions you can implement to find more fulfillment at work.
- Make a list of all the ways in which your work makes a difference. Instead of looking at your job as a mere source of income, think of it as a way in which you give back to society. The way you view your job has a great impact on how you feel about it.
- De-clutter your office. Try to have as few papers and objects on your desk as possible. The more clutter you have around you, the more stressed out you will be.
- Categorize. In addition to de-cluttering your desk and office, categorize the tasks you do on a regular basis. Label them as “like”, “dislike”, and “absolutely hate”. Find ways to delegate the tasks you “absolutely hate” and as many of the tasks that you “dislike” as possible.
- Find fulfillment outside of work. Create a life for yourself completely outside of work. Join volunteer organizations, political parties, or any group that you are interested in. This outside interest will give you a distraction from work to look forward to.
Suggested Action Steps for Recovery from Career Burnout and for Avoiding it Altogether
Recovery from burnout syndrome is possible. However, it requires your determination, persistence, and patience. It doesn’t happen overnight.
This is why you should try to avoid burnout altogether. Not only will you be able to enjoy life more but your family will as well. Remember that the way you feel about yourself, your career, and life in general is reflected in every single interaction you have with people on a daily basis… including communication with your loved ones.
Here are some things you can do to begin establishing stronger boundaries in your life.
- Change your focus- Is your career your life? Or is it one part of your life? Set limits and make sure that you are not tying your identity to your career. When you attach your sense of self to your job, you are left with a feeling of emptiness, a lack of fulfillment, and a lack of satisfaction. You give way too much power over yourself to your career.
- Set boundaries- Don’t bring work hor limit it to just one day per week or month. Set specific times during the week to take a few minout for yourself. Find ways to focus on the time you are spending with your family while you are at home.
- Take a walk- Taking a walk and leaving your office, even if for a few minutes, allows you to clear your mind for that time. Changing the scenery around you is a good way to create breaks in your day while getting re-energized.
- Leave your office for lunch- Try not to eat your lunch at your desk. Leaving your office for 30 minutes or one hour is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Not only does it improve your focus, but it also decreases anxiety levels in you. Get out of your office and socialize even if just for a few minutes.
- Rearrange your priorities- Take your life by the horns and direct it to where you want it to be. If you are not spending enough time for yourself or with your family, make changes in your list of tasks that allow this free time. Delete items from your “to do” list that are not necessary for your end goals. You’d be surprised at how many tasks and responsibilities we place on ourselves that really have no impact on our main goals or bottom lines. Rearranging your priorities enables you to analyze what you’ve been doing that takes the most time. This way you can think of alternate ways of dealing with those tasks or even delegating them if that is possible. It also helps you realize what tasks have been the most effective for your company or employer.
- Simplify your life- The more you have, the more you have to work to pay for it or to find it. Simplifying your life can be as easy as having less clutter in your home office or your desk at work. Two other important things you can do are cut out negative relationships that drain your energy and spirit and automate anything that you can. Create as many systems as you can at home and at work.
- Learn to Say “No”- Stop taking on responsibilities and tasks that are not yours to begin with. Learn to set boundaries with colleagues. As you begin to re-arrange your priorities, you will realize what tasks are most effective and which ones waste your time most. Once you know this information, say no to anything that gets in the way of your work life balance.
- Flexible Work Schedule- To avoid burnout, you may try to work a few days in a month from home. This is a very popular option right now since technology allows us to check emails, answer phones, and be connected to our office from the comfort of our homes. Working from home is a great way to increase the hours available to your during the day. Still, remember to designate office hours for yourself and to stick to them. Set a timer, lock the door of your home office, put your computer away, and do anything else that will create an ending point to your work day.
- Take a mini-vacation- Even if it’s just a day at the park, you deserve to have at least one mini-vacation for yourself and your family every so often. Use your creativity. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Plus, it allows you the opportunity to see and experience other things that life has to offer.
- Laugh more often- Laughing is a wonderful stress buster. Make sure to watch comedy films and shows. Spend time with people who lift your spirits, inspire you, and make you happy.
Remember that work life balance is the key to professional and personal success, that it changes as you transition through stages in life, and that the level that works best for you is individual and completely different to what may work best for another.
Sonia Gallagher is a Coach for Lawyers at Time for Life, LLC. She helps lawyers get more clients, more profits, and more professional satisfaction within the practice of law. She teaches them strategies that transform them into rainmaking machines with more free time and a healthier work life balance.