In a time that glorifies hard work more than ever before, young professionals are hesitant to prioritize rest, making them easily prone to burnout. Burnout is defined as a syndrome that results from chronic work stress that has not been managed properly and is often characterized by avoiding work, declining performance, apathy, and exhaustion.
Set work hours
As simple as it may sound, without set work hours, we are likely to find ourselves working non-stop, without a proper structure, and unable to take time to refuel. By doing this, we are increasing the risk of experiencing burnout because our brains are wired to follow routines. Without separate times for work and daily activities, our brain will be unable to distinguish the two and we will be unable to maximize productivity when we are working. To find balance at work, try setting specific work hours that you turn off notifications or switch off unnecessary electronics to allow yourself to focus on your work.
Dedicate time to hobbies
Intense work needs to be balanced with intense play. Being passionate about your work is great but your passions should not be limited to just work. Hobbies are a great way to de-stress; therefore, dedicating time to hobbies at least once a week is a great way to prevent or reduce burnout. In his book title, Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, Dr. Stuart Brown, writes that “The opposite of play is not work — the opposite of play is depression.” He goes on to say that “Respecting our biologically programmed need for play can transform work. It can bring back excitement and newness to our job. Play helps us deal with difficulties, provides a sense of expansiveness, promotes mastery of our craft, and is an essential part of the creative process.”
Still looking for a hobby? Don’t hesitate to try out a new skill or sport that has always sparked your interest. Hobbies allow us to become more creative and innovative, which can serve us in other areas of our lives including our careers, relationships, and day-to-day activities.
Communicate to your team
If you are feeling burnt out, communicate with your co-workers or your manager as early as possible. While this may feel vulnerable and intimidating, this opens the door to collaborate with other and grow stronger as a team. It also prevents further mental or physical exhaustion and saves your co-workers from the consequences that may result from your burnout, such as decreased productivity. If you notice a consistent pattern of burnout, then it may also be useful to reevaluate your job description and consider what areas of the job you enjoy the most. Although this may not be easy to do for some people, it is advisable to do so because hiding your concerns will only make them worse.