Home Forums Actuarial Resources & Blogs 5 WAYS TO AVOID WORK BURNOUT

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      Do you think you might be experiencing burnout at work? You’re not alone. Whether you commute or work from home, work burnout is a condition that can affect our physical and mental health. The Mayo Clinic asks the following questions to help us identify the symptoms:

      • Have you become cynical or critical at work?

      • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?

      • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?

      • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?

      • Do you find it hard to concentrate?

      • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?

      • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?

      • Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?

      • Have your sleep habits changed?

      • Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?


      If you can answer “yes” to some or all of those symptoms, here are some ideas that will help:


      Take stock of priorities

      Look at your life and identify your top priorities – be sure to include family, friends, and self-care at the top of that list. Then gauge how many hours per day and per week that you spend attending to each category. If work isn’t allowing you to focus on yourself or the people close to you, your quality of life will suffer and depression can sneak in. Give yourself the time you need to have new experiences and develop personally so that you have the foundation you need to grow in your career.


      Schedule time for strategic thinking vs. task management

      In order to avoid feeling like you’re a hamster on a wheel of never-ending tasks, be sure you’re taking the time you need for strategic thinking. The Center for Management & Organization Effectiveness explains “Strategic thinking is simply an intentional and rational thought process that focuses on the analysis of critical factors and variables that will influence the long-term success of a business, a team, or an individual.” Allow yourself the time and space for new ideas and creative thought to avoid stagnation and to keep yourself feeling motivated and hopeful in your position.


      Use your vacation days to refuel

      Take the time you need for your mental health – without feeling guilty. We need this uninterrupted, scheduled time off to focus on ourselves and who we are outside of our jobs. Consecutive and planned days away from work reduces our stress, improves our health, keeps us happier, AND increases our productivity when we return to work. So do yourself and your career a favor and take your PTO days when you need them.


      Take regular breaks

      Whenever you feel like neglecting yourself in order to keep working, just remember: Our work suffers when we haven’t taken care of ourselves. At regular intervals throughout the day, focus your attention on what your body and brain need to keep going. Feed yourself, refill your water, take deep breaths, stretch, get some sunlight. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself daily so that your job doesn’t begin to negatively affect your health.


      Set a regular daily work schedule

      For those of us without 9-5 jobs this one can be tough, but in general try to stick to regular working hours. This will allow you to keep a regular sleep schedule and to have personal time every day. Notify your direct reports of your schedule each week so that it’s clear to everyone and to avoid any expectations that you will be available. Then comes the hard part: sticking to it and maintaining the time boundaries. It helps to remember that tomorrow will be better because you took care of yourself today.


      We hope these tips have helped you! DW Simpson can assist you in navigating the next steps in your career path. Find us at DWSimpson.com.

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