No matter how much you love your job, there will come a time when you just want to scream and run away. We all get get tired and worn out from time to time, so it’s important to recharge your batteries so you can be on top of your work game. Working hard for long periods of time without a break will eventually wear on you. If you don’t take time out for yourself, your frustration will come out as anger and rude behavior toward your co-workers, or you’ll start producing substandard work. Both of these actions will surely get you fired, so here are a few tips for preventing burnout before it ruins your career.
1. Take breaks
Don’t sit at your desk all day. Take a moment to get up, stretch your legs, and go outside. It’s important to clear your head so that you’ll be fresh and ready to complete or start a new task. Studies have shown that taking regular breaks can increase your productivity and may prevent you from becoming overworked.
Sitting still all day will not only stunt your productivity, it could also kill you. Sitting at your desk too much has a physical impact that is similar to smoking. You are at an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease when you are chronically sedentary.
2. Learn to say ‘no’
It’s nice to be needed, but you can’t do everything; you’re not a robot. It’s not possible to please everyone all of the time. Don’t volunteer for additional projects when you know that you won’t be able to deliver a quality product in the amount of time required. Taking on more than you can handle almost never has a good outcome.
“You are entitled to say ‘no’ to the things that will directly hurt you: fire, jumping off a building, drinking poison, overdosing. People readily say no to something as extreme and dramatic as fire. But other no’s are more subtle. It might be harder to say no to cigarettes, alcohol, or toxic relationships. You decide what you say no to. Nobody else does,” said James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher, authors of The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness.
Don’t try to do everything by yourself. Find ways to get your team members to help out with a big project. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and have a better chance of meeting your deadline.
“We have all been in a situation, job, or organization where our time, talents and abilities are overtaxed. However, we often feel we will be perceived as weak or inadequate if we admit that what someone wants just cannot be produced in a desired time or volume. Many a person has cracked under the pressure of an overload, often brought on my one’s willingness to tell others what they wish to hear. If you do need help, you will obtain it only by being brutally honest, first to yourself and then to those who are counting on you,” said Dr. Clay M. Cooper in Delegation: The Key to Leadership.
4. Take your vacation time
This may be the simplest tip of all, but it is one of the most important. Take your vacation. Failing to use your vacation is a quick way to burn out. A poll by Harris Interactive and careers website Glassdoor found that only 25% of American workers take all of their vacation time. Among respondents who said they do take their vacation, 61% said they are still working even while they are on vacation.
Taking a vacation will not only help you feel less tense when you return to work, but also contribute to an improvement in your overall health. Those who take vacations have a decreased risk of heart disease.