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When you are busy and stressed at work, what are the first things in your daily life that you reduce or eliminate? Exercise? Healthy eating? Taking a break? Spending time with friends and family?
If the stress of work builds and you consistently eliminate these things, you are at risk of burnout. Burnout is the condition of mental exhaustion that follows prolonged stress.
Many of us over-commit and end up under-delivering. If you are overwhelmed by your workload and try to do several things at once, the chances are that you will get less done. Rather choose a select group of tasks to work on each day that you are guaranteed to complete. Cut back on meetings….are you attending meeting you really don’t need to be at?
Getting your blood flowing is one of the best ways to wake up in the morning. If you are not a gym person, go for a walk or run with the dog, add a few extra blocks to your commute, use the stairs. Once you are at work, keep yourself moving by taking regular breaks and/or go for a walk during your lunch break. Look at the type of desk you use. If you can incorporate some exercise in your commute or morning routine, it will help you feel calmer and more focused during the day.
If you have a tendency to let clutter build up on your desk, take a few minutes to clean it up. Cluttered surroundings can make it difficult to focus on the task at hand.
One of the first signs of burnout is eating unhealthy fast foods. Over and above the negative impact on your weight, feeding your body with unhealthy foods does not give it the essential energy it needs to work through stress.
One of the biggest distractions at work is social media and your cell phone. If you don’t need your cell phone to do your job, put it away and only check it at designated breaks. Avoid social media during work.
When you start to work on a new task, try to complete it. When we multi-task it can feel as though we are accomplishing much more, but in reality, many of us are not as good at multi-tasking as we’d like to believe.
No one can be “switched on” all the time. Allow yourself to take breaks during the workday to relax and re-focused on your goals for the day. Laugh. When was the last time you let yourself laugh at work?
Don’t neglect your friends and family. Take a break and spend time with them as it will help you to relax and de-stress. Work isn’t everything.