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How to Avoid Burnout at Work: 4 Practical Tips

Yellow background. Insight Global logo. Circle crop of a photo of a woman experiencing burnout at work.

No one wants to experience job burnout. Exhausted, overwhelmed, and mentally drained? No thank you! But how do you avoid burnout at work?

It’s crucial to implement practical strategies that promote overall mental health and well-being. In this article, we’ll explore four ways to prevent burnout at work:

  • Create work-life balance
  • Build resilience
  • Manage priorities
  • Improve communication

But first, let’s take a quick look at job burnout.

What is Job Burnout?

Job burnout is the ongoing state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by chronic work-related stress. When someone experiences job burnout, they often feel overwhelmed, drained, and unable to meet the demands of their job.

What does job burnout look like? It varies from person to person, but can include symptoms like:

  • Physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches, or insomnia
  • Mental symptoms like a lack of focus, brain fog, or anxiety
  • Emotional symptoms like feelings of cynicism, detachment, or hopelessness

Job burnout is different than temporary work-related stress. While most workers experience occasional stress due to tight deadlines or unexpected change in the workplace, job burnout stems from seemingly unending workplace challenges.

Factors that contribute to job burnout can be:

  • High workloads
  • Long hours
  • Disconnect from work
  • Unsupportive leadership
  • Monotonous work
  • Insufficient recognition in the workplace

While you can’t control everything at your job, you can make some changes to avoid burnout at work.

4 Practical Tips to Prevent Burnout at Work

In today’s fast-paced work environment, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Burnout can have a significant impact on your mental and physical well-being, as well as your overall job performance. To help you avoid burnout at work, here are four practical tips to keep in mind:

Create Work-Life Balance

Creating a healthy work-life balance is essential to avoid burnout at work. But in a world of remote and hybrid work, it’s easier said than done. Here are a few ideas to find balance in your day-to-day life:

  • Set boundaries: Define clear limits of when you’re available for work. You don’t need to check your email on the weekend or respond to Slack before bed. Establish clear working hours and turn off work notifications outside of these hours.
  • Take breaks: Find time throughout the day to take a short break. Even a quick walk can reenergize you.
  • Use your PTO: Pew Research found that almost half of American workers don’t use their all of their allotted paid time off (PTO). But if your employer offers PTO, it’s part of your overall compensation. You’ve earned those days off, so take them!

These are small steps, but they make a big difference.

Build Resilience

You can’t always control stressors in your life, but you can control how you respond to them. Building resilience will help you recover from difficulties. Here are a few ideas to build resilience:

  • Focus on your physical health: Research indicates a connection between physical health and cognitive resilience. Try to get sufficient sleep every night, drink water throughout the day, and move your body regularly.
  • Develop your EQ: Emotional intelligence (EQ) involves understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as understanding and empathizing with the emotions of others.
  • Build a support system: Surround yourself with people who both encourage you and challenge you to be your best.

Building resilience will help you avoid burnout at work, even during a stressful season.

Manage Priorities

If everything is a priority, you’ll quickly feel overwhelmed. Instead, work with your leader or your team to determine which tasks matter most. Here are two frameworks to help you set priorities:

  • The Eisenhower Matrix: Divide up your tasks by importance and urgence. Decide what to do now, what to do later, what to delegate, and what to delete.
  • Priority Matrix: This is a more flexible option. Choose your variables, like difficulty, deadline, and impact on the business. Map out your tasks in this matrix. Use the results to set your priorities.

Managing your workload and priorities is crucial to reducing stress.

Improve Communication

Good communication connects the three previous tips. Communication is critical to setting boundaries for work-life balance, connecting with colleagues, and managing priorities with your team.

Find a New Job with Insight Global

Job burnout is not inevitable. When you find the right job, with the right company, you’re more likely to avoid burnout at work.

Discover the benefits of working at Insight Global.