Tips on how to avoid burnout in your career

Business Q&A

AWhat exactly is burnout? It isn't just being overworked or not getting enough rest. Burnout has been described as 'job-induced depression'.

When work just gets too frustrating and pursuing your career & business goals feels futile, you become pessimistic and experience an extended period of time where exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, start to result in a decline in job performance. A lot of burnout really has to do with experiencing chronic stress.

What are the signs you may be experiencing burnout?

1. Exhaustion - A clear sign of burnout is when you feel tired all the time and you feel you don't have any energy left

2. Lack of motivation - When you don't feel enthusiastic about anything anymore or you no longer have that internal motivation and drive, and you have to drag yourself to work everyday

3. Frustration, cynicism and other negative emotions - You may feel like what you're doing doesn't matter that much anymore, or you may be disillusioned with everything. You might generally notice that you feel more pessimistic than you used to

4. Cognitive Problems - Burnout and chronic stress may interfere with your ability to pay attention or concentrate. When we're stressed, our attention narrows to focus on the negative elements that we perceive as a threat rather than an opportunity

How to move past burnout into a balanced situation

Be Optimistic - Optimism and pessimism all come down to the story you tell yourself about what happens to you. Pessimists tend to focus themselves on the negative and assume that bad events will last a long time. If you are continually looking on the bright side you will become more optimistic over time which will help you achieve more and this will increase your focus and success

Find Meaning In What You Do - When you find true meaning in your work - when it's not just a business or a job, but a calling - you don't burn out. When jobs are meaningful, long stressful hours don't have to be the path to an early grave. In fact, the exact opposite can be the case.

During stress, increase your social Calendar - When you get busy at work, you often make less time for friends and family. Bad idea. That's the emotional equivalent of being so overworked you stop eating and starve yourself. Research has shown that those who handle stress the best tend to increase their social activity when things get hard. Most people tend to do the opposite.

A few tips to look after you in times of high stress

- Take time off and enjoy a nice break or holiday

- Recharge during the work day, take a break, or go for a walk at lunch

- Exercise regularly and enjoy being out in the fresh air

- Look at improving your diet and introduce healthy foods to replace high sugar foods. Get some advice & tips on your diet plan

- Get more rest and if your body needs it, develop a good sleep pattern

- Enjoy hobbies or start new hobbies that excite you

- Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, pilataes or mediation

- Learn to train your mind to choose more positive thoughts over negative thoughts

For more information on how to manage your work time, contact Paul Redmond at RDA on 053 9170507 or email paul@rda.ie

DO you feel exhausted? Are you burning out? - and what can you do about it?

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